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Windows Phone Will Overtake iOS By 2015, Says Report

IHS iSuppli predicts that the popularity of Windows phones will overtake Apple’s iOS by 0.1 percent by 2015

The launch at CES 2012 of Nokia’s Lumia 900 smartphone, running the Windows Phone operating system will set the stage for staggering growth in the next few years, says analyst firm IHS iSuppli

While Android phones, which currently enjoy a market share of 47.4 percent, will stay at the top of the leader board for the foreseeable future, market research firm IHS iSuppli predicts that Windows Phone will increase market share by almost 15 percent, and squeak ahead of Apple’s iPhone in the next three years

Swings and roundabouts

The prediction is rosier than earlier forecasts and would take Windows Phone form its currently position on 1.9 percent of the market, to a much stronger number two position.

“One of the hottest new products unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show was the Lumia 900, a Windows Phone-based smartphone sporting a flashy set of features that makes it competitive with the best alternatives offered by the Android camp,” said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at IHS. “This hot product represents Nokia’s first step to reclaim its market share. Combined with Nokia’s efforts to drive the development of the Windows Phone ecosystem, the Lumia 900 and its successors will help Microsoft to reclaim its Number Two ranking in smartphone operating system market share in 2015.”

This is not to say that Apple’s iOS will lose any significant share in the smartphone market, with forecasts stating that the operating system may lose as little as 1.4 percent of the market.

The greatest changes in the market will come from users who currently use other operating systems on their smartphones, plummeting from 32.7 percent in 2011 to 8.6 percent in 2015.

A likely source for this change is the dying OS, Symbian, which peaked back in 2007 (66 percent), when iOS first appeared on the market, and has since seen its market share drop at a meteoric rate.

IHS research suggests a key market for Windows Phone will be North America, with Nokia having tweaked its strategy and included LTE (Long Term Evolution) functionality in order to bolster its position in that region.

According to IHS, “The Lumia 900 was developed with North American market dynamics and smartphone users in mind, with the product having been designed in and launched first in the region—another departure from Nokia’s historical approach of repurposing devices designed in and for other parts of the world. The smartphone’s large 4.3-inch organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) touch screen display, 12 megapixel camera as well as partnerships with Rogers, Telus, AT&T and T-Mobile are concrete examples of Nokia executing on this strategy.”

The market research firm also notes that while Nokia is expected to dominate the Windows Phone market, accounting for 50 percent of all Windows Phones sold in 2012, it will peak at 62 percent in 2013, and then start to decline by 2014 as more manufacturers take the OS on board.