Bad news for Windows Phone fans hoping to see the platform growing bigger once again: market analyst firm IDC forecasts a continued decline for Microsoft’s mobile operating system, which will eventually drop to 0.1 percent market share by 2020.
IDC expects a total of 6.1 million Windows phones to sell this year, which should guarantee a market share of 0.4 percent, but the decline will continue in the coming years to a disappointing 0.1 percent share in 2020. In four years, Windows phone shipments should reach 1 million units, according to IDC.
The analysts explain that despite the arrival of HP’s Elite X3, little has happened in the Windows phone world, and point out that the debut of the eagerly-anticipated Surface Phone won’t change too much because Microsoft still has to fix the problem of “mobile ecosystem.”
This most likely means that the lack of apps continues to drive people away from Windows phone, and IDC doesn’t think this can change overnight.
“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,” IDC said.
“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.”
In case you’re wondering how the other platforms will perform in the future, IDC estimates that Android would grow from 85 percent market share this year to 85.6 percent market share in 2020, while iOS will lose ground a little bit from 13.4 percent to 14.2 percent.
The number of Android devices that will be sold in 2020 is overwhelming to say the least, and Windows phone fans can only dream about such a figure. A total of 1.4 billion Android phones are likely to sell in 2020, IDC estimates, followed by 243 million iPhones.