Over time, research group sees value in Microsoft platform
In the long haul, Windows Phone 7 will become a more popular operating system than iOS, according to a new research report from respected analyst firm IDC.
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But that's only if the Nokia deal, which was announced shortly after WP7 was launched, manages to materialize in a big way.
"Until Nokia begins introducing Windows Phone-powered smartphones in large volumes in 2012, Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile will only capture a small share of the market," the group said in its research report.
However, once that Nokia partnership does actually materialize, IDC believes it will have no trouble taking off. By 2015, the company says Windows Phone will take 20% of the smartphone market worldwide. In second place will be iOS with only 16.9%, it said.
However, Android will have no trouble growing even more, with an estimated 43.8% market share in four years, IDC predicted.
Although Nokia has had a very small presence in the US market for years now, its drop in Europe has been less significant, and it continues to have a humongous, monopolistic hold on developing parts of the world - countries no one else even bothers with.
Although they won't be the most profitable customers, if those third-world countries eventually start getting Windows Phone-powered Nokia devices, that alone would be enough to give a huge boost to the platform.
IDC did note, however, that for Nokia, things are likely to get worse before they get better, and as such it is recommending against investing in Nokia stock.
This comes after another report earlier this year suggested Windows Phone will also be a success story.
All of this speculation comes as the result of Nokia's partnership, because Nokia had such a storied history of success in the industry. It has created some of the most innovative and creative mobile devices of all time.
The key is being able to capitalize on this before Nokia becomes even more of a relic than it already is. Microsoft will gain cache for Windows Phone 7 if it's able to introduce it at a low cost to those millions upon millions of third-world consumers. That, in turn, will allow it to flourish.
But that all depends on whether or not Microsoft can pull off such a move. Just because Nokia is behind the new OS doesn't mean it will succeed.