back to article Nokia to help WinPho outsell iOS in four years

Come 2015 and Microsoft will own more of the smartphone OS market than Apple does. Redmond will have 19.5 per cent of the market, Cupertino just 17.2 per cent. The folk up in Canada - Research in Motion, if you have to ask - will have 11.1 per cent. So says market watcher Gartner, just one of a number of such firms to …


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    1. Robert Synnott

      RE: Apple go for the low end?

      They've done it before in MP3 players. Like MP3 players, this is for now a massively segmented market; the presence of Samsung's Galaxy Europa (80 euro on prepay) doesn't seem to have noticeably hurt sales of its Galaxy S (~600 euro on prepay). If nothing else, the prepay market, where people actually buy the Galaxy Europa, and the bill-pay market, where people actually buy the Galaxy S and iPhone and so forth, are largely separate.

  2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Pinch of salt

    Does the report cover the consequences of having so much market share? If Android does go to 2 x the nearest competitor it is going to be extremely dominant.

    Will we really still pay as much as USD 300 for handset in a few years? What bits of the smartphones won't have been relentlessly commodified by then given that some Android phones are already available for around USD 100 without contract.

  3. Carol Orlowski

    Nokia to help WinPho outsell iOS in four years

    I wonder how much Microsoft paid for this dumb prediction.

    I'd be surprised if Nokia are still around if 4 years. Microsoft will have bled them dry and moved on by then.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Dumb prediction?

      Why do you think the prediction is dumb? Do you know something that the analysts at Gartner and IDC don't?

      All predictions may be dumb to some extent, but probably no more so than saying, say, that Nokia won't be around in 4 years.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward



        Have a look at Microsoft's past history.

      2. Goat Jam


        This is the same Gartner who said this just 6 months ago;

        " Gartner predicts the release of Windows Phone 7 will help bump Microsoft’s share of the worldwide market from 4.7% in 2010 to 5.2% in 2011, but says the company’s share will ultimately decline to just 3.9% by 2014."

        Granted, this is before Microsofts takeover of Nokia, but that's seems an awful lot of faith they are putting in the brand loyalty of Nokia customers, the majority of whom buy ultra cheap feature phones and have little interest in changing over to some expensive "fancy touchscreen gadget"

    2. RegisterThis

      Unlike you, Analysts ...

      - Look at actual figures (Do you know how many handsets Apple sell compared to Nokia?)

      - Don't publish their personal pet peave or hate tied to the brand they best identify with ...

      - Remember that the world is bigger than English speaking UK or Europe ... (Yes, the handset demographics on the tube are not representative of the world!)

      - Recognise segmentation i.e. high, middle and low end offerings ... Apple is high end and not having the most handsets in the market is probably NOT their biggest concern. Theirs is owning the high-end segment. The smart-phone/dumb-phone divide will dissapear and you will have different price points of ALL smartphone market.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Unlike you, Analysts ...

        - Are paid by clients to publish their "findings" (If you didn't know this already, you are the one who fails!)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Gates Horns


          Unlike the iPhone or even Nokia's old Ovi store, which are available worldwide, the Windows Phone Marketplace is only available to first world countries. Yes, it's 100 countries, but that 100 doesn't cover most of Africa, or those *stans up in the USSR, or half of Asia, which together makes up for the other two thirds of the physical land mass in the world.

          These analysts are tossers. I just can't see how a phone without extensibility will sell in two-thirds of the world.

          Gates as satan. Because MS needs to make the market available worldwide, but instead they screw second and third world countries over.

    3. kirovs

      Second that

      When Nokia is underwater in 4-5 years, Microsoft will have the next "big thing" in phones- Win 8, and move on to another sucker for handsets. Hoping that people will fall for the trick again.

    4. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Pump and dump

      I guess these market "research" houses are just loaded up on unwanted Nokia stock.

  4. NoneSuch

    Bull plop

    Gartners obvious pro-M$ bias emerges again.

    There is no way that they will beat the iPhone in that time period even if they GIVE the WinPhones away. Given their recent issues with WinPhone patches and the current raging and screaming on their forums they will not hit 1.95 percent.

    Garner is usually pro-Microsoft on forecasts and not many people look back in time to see just how bad their predictions end up being.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Why do The Reg keep claiming that Samsung, HTC etc aren't making any money?

    The "fact" that Samsung, HTC and other Android OEMs aren't making any money seems to be regularly trotted out by The Reg without any source or justification, whenever Android sales numbers exceed Apple's.

    HTC just overtook the market cap of RIM and Nokia (I think they slipped back behind Nokia again the next day, but the general trend is pretty clear). Samsung must be printing money since they basically make all the component parts themselves. All of them seem to be quadrupling output and sales every year. I've not seen anything credible to suggest they're not coining it in thanks to Android.

    The only exception is the regular articles that fly round the Apple blog-o-sphere where they conveniently throw in the numbers from Samsung, Motorola and LG's dumbphone manufacturing wings to bring down their average profit numbers. They'll also casually omit HTC from any such comparison as it is a smartphone only shop like Apple and RIM and as such would completely blow the gaffe on this nonsense.

    1. Random Handle


      >Samsung must be printing money since they basically make all the component parts themselves.

      Not forgetting they also make most of the iPhone/iPad components too...

    2. Lars Silver badge

      Yes, it would be interesting

      If somebody started to compare the reality to predictions made bye Garner and others during past years. The Reg perhaps!.

      Then again a company basing its strategy on Gartner and similar is not fit to live anyway.

      I do not know what Linux predictions Garner has for this year, but as far as I remember (about 18 years), Linux is not yet, but perhaps in four years.

      I think Garner is like a mail order company where the firms ordering their reports, have forgotten that they pay, and still order, for no reason at all.

    3. RegisterThis

      But the figures speak for themselves ...

      2010 handset sales:

      - Nokia : 453M

      - Apple: 47M

      So Nokia sells roughly 10 handsets for every 1 Apple sells.

      Even though Nokia lost a few percentage points market share, they still grew their shipments at 4.9% or about 20M units. Apple grew at 87% or about 20M units.

      Let's assume both continue to sell an additional 20M units per year (Reflecting a decline in % growth for both, but 87% is unsustainable for Apple), so in 2015, units equal:

      - Nokia: 553.3M

      - Apple: 147.5M

      If 25% of Nokia's handsets sold then are WP7 smartphones, then they match and exceed iPhone. (And my iPhone extrapolation of 20M growth per annum is a lot more generous than either IDC or Gartner).

      Now assume that by 2015, ALL phones are smartphones (entry level = todays specs) and Nokia offering is entirely WP. A lot more WP than iPhones!

      And that is ignoring Samsung, LG and HTC who are also selling WP.

      What people seem to forget is that ALL phones will likely be 'smart' within the next few years and that on the gloabl stage, only 3.5% of handsets are iPhones. Frankly, you have to be extremely cynical not to see WP outstrip IOS over the next few years. (And, I don't think this will worry Apple, as it is like saying that Mercedes will be unhappy that more Toyotas are sold!)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down


        You're forgetting that current Nokia users have no reason to use Nokia WP devices in the future other than brand recognition -- there isn't even any familiarity factor in the UX, and since they will be used to many capabilities that WP devices will not have, any that try WP are due disappointment. And that Apple has a large segment of the smartphone market, and an even larger media attention; and if you argue that all phones will be smart you should largely ignore the dumb phone sales.

        Should be more like 2% WP and 25% iOS, with some 5-10% Symbian still in the game in 2015.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        What if Ford switched to boats?

        Would you look at how many cars Ford sold last year and assume they'd sell more or less that many boats?

        Granted, the difference between cars and boats is bigger than the difference between cheap Series 40 flip phones and big touchscreen WP7 phones, but not by much.

      3. Charles Manning
        Thumb Down

        Also forgets...

        Most of the Nokia phones sold worldwide are candy-bar phones with very little margin and sell for approx the cost of a WinPho license and make very little profit for Nokia.

        If you look at anything comparable to an iphone then Nokia sells less than 20M devices/year (ie. one seventh of Apple).

        The vast bulk of phones will continue to be candy-bar phones selling at lower and lower prices. ie. Today's candy-bar phones sold cheaper and to a wider audience.

        If they want to, Apple could play this game too without killing their premium products. Think of the ipod nano vs ipod touch.

        MS will continue to specify high end specs to keep a comoditised high end platform for interoperability. MS will not want WP to be sold in smaller handsets because that kills the brand.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    To the MS doubters...

    I'm not a fanboy, just making a guess at the reasoning...

    Android, released October 2008, in <2.5 yrs it is now the dominant smartphone OS. It's only been really compelling for around 18 months.

    To meet the predictions here Microsoft have 4 years until 2015, WinPho 7 has had some positive reviews in a way similar to earlier Android releases, it's getting there and work is in progress. Microsoft have the same massive budgets to throw into things as Google, and sometimes the patience to keep throwing money at it until it sells (XBox series for example). Microsoft also have 1 HUGE plus, they have the world's biggest handset maker on team, whilst Nokia have been average of late they still command massive brand loyalty in a lot of markets and shift a lot of phones through a super efficient supply chain.

    Microkia has the potential to be a great success, it depends on how they proceed, and regardless of how much us geeks like to think our word is the only one that counts really it is the hearts and minds of the plebs at large that make a market share into something massive (hence why Linux is still a niche). Ask Apple - technical superiority isn't all important, making shiny gadgets is what counts...

    Don't right off the old dinosaurs, they might just pull a rabbit out of the hat...

  7. Ken MAC

    So what's Low End?

    Before replacing my aging SE walkman 'smartphone' my spec was; Touch screen, wifi, bluetooth, expandable memory, standard connectors and FM radio would be nice. Top of the software list a really good contacts app with a flexible contact record structure and free text searching.. Oh and it had to be no more expensive than my current contract.

    I've ended up with an HTC wildfire running android 2.2 for £20 a month, £21 post Vat rise. (You can even buy one of these on PAYG for about £130)

    What this cheap entry level device does still blows me away. It's like a swiss army knife on steroids its a Torch, Calculator, Clock, Alarm, Timer, Diary, Radio, MP3\MP4 player, Libary (Kindle), GPs, Compass, Planetarium (google Sky), Atlas, Satnav, Note Taker, Camera Stills&Video, Bar code reader, Games console, Wifi HotSpot, Internet browser, Emailer, Facebook & Ebay terminals, Inernet radio, Voice Notetaker etc etc all really easy to use and well integrated. BTW I can make a phone call on it as well

    Others devices maybe faster and sleeker with hi-res screens but for all practical purposes current "low end" is light years ahead of what was "high end" a couple of years ago. So come on High End Guys what can you do for three times the price??

    1. tirk


      "Don't right off the old dinosaurs, they might just pull a rabbit out of the hat..."

      That's "write" and "wabbit"!

    2. Arctic fox

      @To the MS doubters

      They do not want to hear it old chap. They just want to scream and howl about Micro$oft. Regardless of what, in reality, might or might not happen. We will see what the future holds.


      A happy but unbiased Desire Z owner.


    3. Robert Synnott

      RE: So what's low end?

      All current low-end phones use ARM11 processors, which are _very_ much slower than the A8s and now A9s found in high-end phones. ARM11 SoCs also tend to have mediocre GPUs, which hurts games, particularly 3D games, and GPU-accelerated UIs like those found in iOS and Android 3.0. Part of Google's stated reason for not doing GPU-accelerated UIs earlier was that they wouldn't work on old devices like the G1 and current low-end devices.

      I'd say the main practical difference is that if you buy a high-end phone today, it'll be fine in two years (provided the manufacturer bothers to make updates for it available). If you buy a low-end phone, it is less likely to be so.

      1. Ken MAC

        Low End again

        I agree a higher spec phone will have a longer practical service life assuming low end models can't keep pace with newly released software requirements. But one tale I heard was the Indium-Tin material used as the capacitive touch sensor, may only have a working life of a couple years ( assuming screen protector films make no diference.) due to it being relatively brittle.

        So the mechanics may fail expensively before the software platform does .

        We're back to the old story; you get what you pay for and if youre demands aren't too high neither is the bill...

        Cheers MAC

    4. fishman

      You're forgetting

      "Android, released October 2008, in <2.5 yrs it is now the dominant smartphone OS. It's only been really compelling for around 18 months."

      MS has been making smartphone OS's far longer than Android or Apple.

      Nokia a huge plus? I don't think so. Maybe just a plus, unless MS has trouble with other WP7 handset makers due its relation ship with Nokia - then it could be a minus. While Nokia has had a big reputation, they haven't been that competitive the last few years against Apple, and now against Android. By the time they have a WP7 phone out, LG, Samsung, HTC, Sony Ericson and Motorola will be on fairly equal footing to it in most consumers minds.

    5. kirovs

      XBOX example

      I assume write off, not right off.

      They poured over 1B so far (presumably). And the question is- how long can they keep pouring.

      They net income has not grown that much from 2000, even though they had major new releases. Not to mention they just added 2.25B to their debt, even though it is very low interest (who is the idiot buying this debt anyway?).

      XBOX took a really long time to make a profit and never gave MS the monopoly they long for.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: XBOX example

        "XBOX took a really long time to make a profit and never gave MS the monopoly they long for."

        And one has to wonder whether there's that much generation-by-generation loyalty when it comes to consoles, anyway. Sure, it'd be nice to play old games on your new hardware, but you've probably kept the old kit around, given that it would have pretty limited trade-in value. So let us "doubters" point out that Microsoft buying market share might well have been for nothing if they can't deliver in the next round.

        1. Goat Jam

          Old games, new hardware,

          This is pretty much irrelevant now that all the console makers have dropped any efforts they once made towards backwards compatibility with previous models.

          You may as well switch brands from one generation to the next as there is no point being "loyal" so that you can still play your old stuff on your shiny new box.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Damn you pedants!

        Yes, you're RIGHT, I meant write...

        Annnyway, yes I know MS have been in the game longer, so they should have more experience that Google did at the start eh! WP7 is a clean slate, so it can be considered pretty much a standing start for them I think...

        Nokia never did Android, so Android had no chance of making it onto over a third of global handset sales, WP7 has now... I think it will be a contender, I don't think it's a droid beater but I can see that one possible future has Windows Phone being as popular as Blackberry and iPhone and not a distant 4th.

        I do think they are right about WebOS, Bada, Meego etc, they have no chance. The most likely to surprise is WebOS, but I don't think HP have the stomach to throw billions at it like Microsoft and Google have/will, operating systems and software are not HPs core market, it doesn't matter to them in the same way.

        1. TeeCee Gold badge

          HP's core market.

          You're probably correct[1] here. HP could be doing quite a bit of that old stalwart "focussing on their core business" for a bit, seeing as that's just taken a couple of knees to the happy sacks courtesy of Red Hat and Oracle.

          I can't see 'em chucking any significant effort into WebOS while the Itanic Elephant remains in the room, obscuring their view of everything else.

          [1] Cunningly avoiding the whole "right" / "write" thing....

  8. Gene
    Thumb Down

    This prediction is not credible...

    ...too many assumptions. Here's my counter-prediction: In four years, Android will still be selling the most phones and Apple will still be making the most money. Anybody disagree?

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Prediction

      Making the most money, yes

      Selling more phones than any other handset maker, possibly. They will definitely be in the top three.

      Selling more phones than the total number of Android phones from all handset makers, no.

    2. Charles Manning

      re: This prediction is not credible.

      Agree on all points

  9. Justin Clements

    Horse $hit

    What a stupid bit of research.

    What exactly are they basing any of this on? Nothing. So how can they predict any numbers what so ever? There is absolutely nothing to go on, especially W7 phone since there aren't many out, and they aren't selling very well anyway.

    They are merely presuming that MS and Nokia will save Nokia's skin. But what do they have to back that theory up? Nothing.

  10. Joe Montana

    In 2007...

    Back in 2007, Gartner predicted that windows mobile would completely dominate the smartphone market by 2010...

    Now that it's 2010, windows mobile has been dropped and replaced with an incompatible replacement, neither of which are doing all that well in the market.... So take what gartner say with a pinch of salt. They are pretty much a mouthpiece available to the highest bidder anyway.

  11. gruffrey

    Profitable? Why do The Reg keep claiming that Samsung, HTC etc aren't making any money? #

    There Is data out there that shows this to be the case. Not sure of the validity of the data but my guess is it's taken from some reference which is based on an element of actual facts that have been collated, and not just (educated) guesswork. Link below:

    The important thing is comparing like with like - handset divisions with handset divisions. Just because Samsung make parts for other manufacturers doesn't mean that their handset division is necessarily hugely profitable. In fact making parts is probably as low margin as you can get - especially considering the investment in infrastructure and plant required to 'quadruple output' each year.

    That's essentially the benefit that Apple have - they don't build factories and global supply chains, they concentrate on software, design and retail which have less capital costs. They let others make this investment while they rack up sales of (very) expensive phones. Surely this is the model we should be following in the UK (like ARM).

    Strange too to use HTC's market cap as a way of showing how much money they make compared (not directly) but in the last paragraph, by association, with Apple. Have you see AAPL share price this last year? And just briefly risen above the massively underperforming Nokia stock? Not really an indication of great performance. And why is Nokia underperforming? Massive global sales but low profitability, and until the deal with Microsoft no real roadmap back to bigger profits. No future means low shareprice.

  12. bluelans
    Thumb Up


    o rly? I suppose android is more powerful

  13. npo4

    Symbain was big for low end phones

    Nokia will still sell a lot of phones, but only the low-end phones, not the WinPho ones.

    Symbian was so popular as it was on lots of cheaper lower end phones, for people who didn't want to spend a lot

  14. Kevin Bailey

    Apparently Symbian will still be outselling Android in 2014...

    ...and Windows 7 is doomed to fail.

    BTW - I've a friend who is admin for some training colleges who issued WinPho7 phones to staff - and the staff have apparently nearly all returned them because they don't like them. I think it must take a lot of 'not liking' to actually return something new and shiny. She now has a Samsung Android handset.

  15. P. Lee Silver badge


    If we take the player's culture and current products' position and extrapolate:

    Apple will still own the top end (margin wise)

    Android will be nipping at Apple's heals but with mid-market prices

    MS will have mass market business presence and a product nobody cares for

    The problem is that MS is trying to shoehorn a smartphone os into a low-end device manufacturer. Unless MS come up with a compelling business case for an IT-department-controlled phone, I suspect they will be squeezed at the top by Apple and the midmarket by Android. Let's face it, these days the IT use for a phone is as 3g modem with wifi.

    Few will use a phone and ditch the laptop, therefore there's not much point in putting business-facilities into a phone.

    MS could subsidise a sustained attack to seed the market with MS phones (their current strategy) but that's probably not going to succeed. Phones have fairly limited functionality compared to PC's and that will probably be the case for the foreseeable future. That makes it easy to switch and hard to lock in. Apple sees this and keeps pushing their hardware engineering forward to be the best. With Apple's locked-down approach and Android's open approach it's hard to see a place for MS. Nokia will need to pull some great engineering out of the hat, but having ditched their previous strategy completely, I can't see where the expertise for that will come from.

    1. Snapper
      Thumb Down


      Agree with basic idea that Apple will be making the most money in four years, with 'Android' selling the most phones, remembering that 'Android' is the OS, not the company.

      We should also remember that Microsoft have slapped their WP7 OEM's in the face with the Nokia deal, as who will want to compete against the OS developer and their bitch when they have a choice?

      Fairly shortly I think we'll see WP7 phones only with Nokia on them.

  16. druck

    Simple maths

    ( Current WinMo + Current Nokia ) * Smartphone Market Growth != Future WinMo

    ( Current WinMo + Next to F'All ) * Less than Market Growth == Where WinMo is going

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