When Microsoft eventually unveils its Windows Phone 7 handsets, the company hopes to make back at least some of the ground it has lost to Apple, Google, RIM and other smartphone OS developers in the past three or four years.
But a new report from IT research firm IDC predicts Windows Phone 7 will have only a slight impact on the overall smartphone market as established leaders continue to build out their app stores, developer communities and device manufacturing partnerships.
From Microsoft’s perspective, now is not the time to be playing catch-up in a market that’s growing by leaps and bounds both within the U.S. and abroad.
While no specific date has been announced, Windows Phone 7 smartphones are expected to be available for purchase in time for the holiday shopping season.
A leading analyst firm’s latest projections for the smartphone market has both good and bad news for Microsoft and its soon-to-launch Windows Phone 7.
The good news, according to the latest Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker from analysis firm IDC, is that Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows Mobile phones and their replacements running Windows Phone 7 will grow from 6.8 percent market share in 2010 to 9.8 percent in 2014. That’s a 43.3 percent gain.
The bad news, however, is that IDC predicts that in 2014, Microsoft, which is currently in fifth place in the smartphone sweepstakes, will still be in fifth place. Its four leading competitors, similarly, are likely to retain their double-digit market shares now and into the near future.