As such their latest report on the worldwide phone market suggests things are not going too great for Windows phones at present.
An update on the same report published in September 2016, the IDC now expects 1.1 million less Windows Phones to be shipped this year (from 7.2 million to 6.1 million for full year 2016) and they do not expect things to improve in the next 4 years, projecting only 1 million Windows Phones will be sold in 2020, down from a projected 1.7 million in their September report.
On Windows Phone they write:
Microsoft’s mobile platform remained largely a non-story in 2016 other than HP’s reentry into the smartphone space with the X3 product. IDC projects Windows Phone shipments to decline 79.1% in 2016 as the number of OEMs supporting the platform continue to diminish. Rumors of a Surface Phone from Microsoft continue to linger, but the drawn out hurdle of a much needed mobile ecosystem has not gone away. Unless Microsoft has a way to get around this, IDC anticipates a tough road ahead for the platform.
Of the other mobile platforms they say:
Android: It is no secret that Google’s Android OS has been and will remain the majority share platform in smartphones for the foreseeable future. It will also be at the core of the aforementioned 4G growth expected in emerging markets as low-cost Android players are not using newer, faster low-cost chips. The biggest focus point in regard to Android is Google’s recent entry into the hardware space. It is too early to tell if this will negatively impact relations with other hardware partner OEMs, but it is a move similar to Microsoft’s entry into the hardware space with Surface and, on the surface, it does not seem to be disruptive. However, the move is also aided by the lack of viable mobile platform alternatives.
iOS: All signs point to 2016 being the first full year of declining shipments for Apple’s iPhone. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have done well, but three quarters of year-over-year declines, as well as a projected fourth quarter decline by IDC, will account for negative growth. By no means is this doomsday for Apple in this category and 2017 marks the tenth year of iPhone, so it is hard to believe Apple doesn’t have something big up its sleeve. Challenges of low-cost competition remain, and Google getting into the premium space certainly doesn’t make things any easier. Look for Apple to mix things up with whatever version(s) they bring to market in the coming year to hopefully rebound shipment growth.