At the Microsoft MIX 2011 conference we discussed the fact that both IDC and Gartner issued reports indicating that by 2015 the Windows Phone ecosystem will be the second largest phone ecosystem in the world (IDC press release, Gartner press release).

In a report issued yesterday by Pyramid Research analysts provided insight into Why Windows Phone Will Beat Android, they had previously indicated that “By 2015, Windows Phone will establish itself as the leader in the smartphone OS space.

“Some people have misinterpreted our statement, thinking that Windows Phone (WP) will establish its leadership in 2015. As you can see from Exhibit 1, we actually believe this will happen much earlier – as early as 2013”.

 

mobile_OS_marketshare

Source: Pyramid Research, Q1 Global Smartphone Forecast

Pyramid Research indicates that their forecasts are based upon demand for 51 markets and that their models are updated with fresh information every three months. Other research companies, they say, cover only the largest 15 markets and subsequently extrapolate data for the remainder of the worlds markets. Emerging markets will drive much of the growth through 2015 and so it is interesting to note that Pyramid Research also accounts for these emerging markets in their analysis.

“We believe that Nokia and Microsoft are a very powerful tandem, and that will show in its full force by the end of 2013”

IDC indicated “The worldwide smartphone market is expected to grow 49.2% in 2011" as more consumers and enterprise users turn in their feature phones for smartphones with more advanced features”.

IDC also stated that “Nokia’s recent announcement to shift from Symbian to Windows Phone will have significant implications for the smartphone market going forward.”

Operating System 2011 Market Share 2015 Market Share 2011 – 2015
CAGR
Android

39.5%

45.4%

23.8%

Black Berry

14.9%

13.7%

17.1%

iOS

15.7%

15.3%

18.8%

Symbian

20.9%

0.2%

-65.0%

Windows Phone

5.5%

20.9%

67.1%

Others

3.5%

4.6%

28.0%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

19.6%

Source IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, March 29, 2011.

Gartner predicts that Nokia will push Windows Phone well into the mid-tier of its portfolio by the end of 2012. driving the platform to be the third largest in the worldwide ranking by 2013.

What we can really take from this is that IDC, Gartner, and now Pyramid Research all see significant disruption in the current market for smartphones and the most significant contributory factor to this disruption is Windows Phone and the Microsoft partnership with Nokia.

Operating System 2010 2011 2012 2015
Symbian

111,577

89,930

32,666

661

Market Share (%)

37.6

19.2

5.2

0.1

Android

67,225

179,873

310,088

539,318

Market Share (%)

22.7

38.5

49.2

48.8

Research In Motion

47,452

62,600

79,335

122,864

Market Share (%)

16.0

13.4

12.6

11.1

iOS

46,598

90,560

118,848

189,924

Market Share (%)

15.7

19.4

18.9

17.2

Microsoft

12,378

26,346

68,156

215,998

Market Share (%)

4.2

5.6 10.8 19.5
Other Operating Systems 11,417.4 18,392.3 21,383.7 36,133.9
Market Share (%) 3.8 3.9 3.4 3.3
Total Market 296,647 467,701 630,476 1,104,898

Source: Gartner Forcast: Mobile Communications Devices by Open Operating System, Worldwide, 2008-2015, April 5, 2011.

While market projections are interesting and are the subject of some intense debate among analysts and those companies with a market share, what we can take from this is that there is going to be significant growth in the Windows Phone ecosystem over the next few years.

Disruption in the global smartphone market is already happening and its an awesome time to be a developer writing and monetizing mobile applications!