Is It Time For Windows Phone To Give Up?
Microsoft may be heading for a tough time in the coming years as far as its phone business is concerned. IDC’s latest forecast states that Windows Phones may see a meagre 0.1 percent rise in smartphone market share by 2019. The research firm further claimed that Microsoft can expect a year-over-year decline of 10.2 percent this year followed by further decline next year. The reason of the decline was stated to be a lack in the number of OEM partners with the company.
“Despite all the effort Microsoft has put into the launch of Windows 10 for Mobile, IDC does not expect Microsoft’s share of the smartphone OS market to grow much over the coming years,” IDC said in its Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker..
Experts believe the time when Microsoft had joined hands with Nokia in order to launch the lower-budget segment devices in the market, the partnership evidenced a rise in the shipment of phones to 34.9 million units, last year. However, comparing its forecast for the current year, IDC reveals that 31.3 million units of Windows Phones this year will be shipped, with 2.2 percent of market share as compared to the 226 million units of iOS devices with a market share of 15.8 percent. While, the Android devices lead the market with 1,161.1 million units and 81.2 percent of shares.
While this is not good news for Microsoft, CEO Satya Nadella in an open letter explained that Windows Phone market share was not a priority for the company anymore, and that it would focus on software going forward. However, Microsoft seems positive and recently announced its flagship Windows 10-powered smartphones called the Lumia 950 and the Lumia 950 XL for the Indian market. In Europe it launched its affordable budget 4G offering called the Lumia 550 that was also showcased at the company’s recent hardware devices event, which focussed on the Surface brand.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Microsoft may introduce a Surface smartphone to complete the Windows 10 ecosystem. But with the lack of apps on its smartphones and a higher price tag, analysts doubt it would find any takers. As of now experts believe that Microsoft is better off with software than hardware, as it is just the Surface brand of computers that seems to stand out. Nokia takeover could have made a difference, but in that too Microsoft couldn’t churn out the profit further substantiate this point.
“With the smartphone market finally slowing to single-digit growth, maintaining momentum will depend on several factors. The main driver has been and will continue to be the success of low-cost smartphones in emerging markets. This, in turn, will depend on capturing value-oriented first-time smartphone buyers as well as replacement buyers,” said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.
“We believe that, in a number of high-growth markets, replacement cycles will be less than the typical two-year rate, mainly because the components that comprise a sub-$100 smartphone simply do not have the ability to survive two years.
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