IDC finally gives up Windows Phone, predicts ever falling sales

idc 2016

The IDC has always been somewhat optimistic about the future of Windows Phone, but after repeatedly missing predictions by a wide margin the IDC has finally given up on the OS.

The analyst company predicted in December last year that Microsoft would sell 31.3 million Windows Phones in 2015, and 43.6 million by 2019.  Unfortunately Microsoft missed even this modest target, hitting only 27.3 million sales in 2015.

As recently as May 2015 IDC still predicted Microsoft would sell more than 100 million Windows Phones by 2019, but now the company has revised its predictions downwards sharply to what is seen above.

That predicts a further reduction in Windows Phone sales to 23.8 million in 2016 (which in fact is quite optimistic given that that requires around 6 million sales per quarter, a target Microsoft was not even able to meet in the holiday season last year), and for sales to drop further to 17.8 million by 2020. Of course with Microsoft’s current strategy 3rd party OEMs are expected to carry the bulk of the load, but it is in the end up to Microsoft to generate sufficient demand for the OS, and their own cross-platform strategy unfortunately mostly precludes this.

The IDC notes:

This past year was another challenging year for Windows Phone as shipments were down 18% in 2015 to 11.1 million units with roughly 95% of that volume coming from Microsoft (or Nokia) branded devices. The recent MWC conference in Barcelona showed a few new products from partner OEMs although it remains unclear how serious the Windows Phone offerings will be from OEMs.

Of course at that point one wonders why Microsoft would even bother, but then the company has been at it for some years now and is nothing if not tenacious.

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