Will Nokia and Microsoft Win With Windows Phone 7? Not

by Sam Dean - Mar. 30, 2011Comments (2)

From the time Nokia announced that it is tying its smartphone fortunes to Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform, expressions of shock have abounded, and we have written about why there may be problems with this hookup, especially as Apple's mobile OS and Android are taking on so much momentum. According to market researchers at IDC, though, Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform is poised to overtake Apple's iPhone platform in the smartphone market by 2015, and Nokia's support of Microsoft's platform is expected to be a key reason why. This forecast misses the mark in several ways.

Specifically, IDC predicts that by 2015, Android will lead the smartphone market with 45.4 percent market share, Apple's iOS platform will have only 15.3 percent share, and Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform will have 20.9 percent share. While the prediction that Android will have leading market share is already playing out, it's unlikely that Nokia's deal with Microsoft is going to propel Windows Phone 7 beyond Apple's platform. According to IDC's statement:

"Nokia's recent announcement to shift from Symbian to Windows Phone will have significant implications for the smartphone market going forward. 'Up until the launch of Windows Phone 7 last year, Microsoft has steadily lost market share while other operating systems have brought forth new and appealing experiences,' [said researcher Ramon Llamas]. 'The new alliance brings together Nokia's hardware capabilities and Windows Phone's differentiated platform. We expect the first devices to launch in 2012. By 2015, IDC expects Windows Phone to be number 2 operating system worldwide behind Android."

 In all likelihood, IDC bases this forecast on the concept that business users will adopt Windows Phone 7 in droves, to run Office applications and stay tied to the Windows-centric platforms they run on servers, desktops and laptops. The forecast is also likely to have roots in Nokia's still hefty market share in the overall smartphone market.

If this scenario were going to play out, we would already be seeing strong Windows Phone 7 momentum, but the platform has been available for six months, and the early signs of enthusiasm from developers that were seen with both the iPhone and Android aren't being seen.  The Symbian Foundation and Nokia missed the boat badly in failing to deliver an open source smartphone platform on a timely basis, as we've noted before. In a market as competitive as the smartphone market, that single misstep ceded eventual market share leadership to Android. Meanwhile, the iPhone has a flourishing application ecosystem that Microsoft's platform can't come close to competing with. 

IDC's rosy forecast for the Microsoft/Nokia hookup seems off base, and we outlined several of the reasons why, here, when the deal was first announced, beginning by noting that the deal between the two companies came too late.



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You may be missing that Xbox Live has 30 million members. (that is all ipads sold) and the trend to social localized gaming like foursquare.

What if... 30 million X-Box Live gamers suddenly go gaming around you with new localized social gaming apps. A marketeers wet dream.

Combine that with further Windows integration... (and Windows Live)

You also missed that the MS app markt grew faster than any other app market due to pretty easy to use free Visual Studio tools.

And that the Phone 7 platform is rolled out in phases e.g. the dutch version still will take some months before developers kick of there.

I think they will get 33% of marketshare or more.

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"You also missed that the MS app markt grew faster than any other app market due to pretty easy to use free Visual Studio tools."

Really this was preexisting applications most traced to failed .net websites. We have seen battles like this before. Lets dream up some magical area were we are doing better.

RIM is currently doing what MS did at the start of the desktop battle. With OS/2 emulation, Posix emulation and so on.

Is the any particular reason why a emulator to run WP7 apps could not appear on RIM or Android. Remember this emulator could be coming from a country where software patents don't apply.

Basically its a foolish presume that Nokia + MS will equal progress for WP7.

Already Nokia is finding WP7 is lacking in international support and other key areas. There is a big risk that Nokia still might find that WP7 is more expensive than Meego. The idea of going WP7 was to save money not to have to spend heck loads fixing it up.

The gun in lets emulate the competing platform has already been fired by RIM. Question is will any others join in on that battle. So going down the path that lead to 1 OS being dominate on the desktop.

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