IDC revises 2015 smartphone estimates, predicts iPhone will drop to 16.9%

in iPhone edited January 2014
IDC released new long-term forecasts for worldwide smartphone operating systems on Thursday, predicting that Apple's iPhone will fall from 18.2 percent market share in 2011 to 16.9 percent in 2015.

The research group released the data in its Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report, expecting the smartphone market to grow by 55 percent to reach 472 million devices in 2011, MacNN reports. By 2015, the smartphone market is expected to double based on a compound annual growth rate of 20 percent.

Senior researcher Kevin Restivo remarked that the "floodgates are open wide" for the global smartphone market, especially in Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

According to the report, Apple's iOS will fall from an 18.2 percent share of the 2011 worldwide smartphone market to 16.9 percent in 2015. IDC sees Google's Android OS holding onto the top spot with 43.8 percent market share in 2015, up from 38.9 percent in a 2011. Research in Motion's BlackBerry OS is expected to slide from 14.2 percent to 13.4 percent.

In the next four years, the biggest shift will come from Nokia's Symbian, which IDC predicts will drop from 20.6 percent to 0.1 percent as the company switches over to the Windows Phone platform. Microsoft will see big gains from its deal with Nokia, jumping up from 3.8 percent in 2011 to 20.3 percent in 2015.

IDC's numbers have shifted since an earlier prediction from March. At that time, the group predict Android's 2015 market share would reach 45.40 percent, while iOS would hold just 15.30 percent. However, those predictions were published before Apple released its second quarter fiscal 2011 results, boasting a record 18.65 million iPhone sales with 113 percent year over year growth.

Apple is currently the No. 2 producer of smartphones, behind only Nokia, according to IDC. In the first calendar quarter of 2011, Apple sold 18.7 million iPhones for roughly 18.7 percent of the smartphone market, which totaled nearly 100 million devices.


  • Reply 1 of 96
    Yeah, more soothsaying from experts.
  • Reply 2 of 96
    ...Kevin Restivo needs a track record check into how accurate he is.

    I would be interested in hearing his justification for the large jump in Winokia phone share. While I have heard modest praise from some of the WP7 crew posting here - the comments weren't aligning with average consumer demands - and therefore the largest part of the market left to Apple and Google.

    The other dark horses in this are the "unbranded" Android phones that those pesky cloners are cranking out in large numbers, the HP/Palm platform - is it only going to be tablets, or are they going to build smartphones too for WebOS.

    And between now and 2015, what will be the dynamics with Android and ChromeOS?

    EDIT:I did a quick non-scientific check out at Restivo's blog - definitely not impressed with his predictive ability. In fact, I'm amazed that he leaves his past blogs out there to review and see how inaccurate he's been.
  • Reply 3 of 96
    dooghdoogh Posts: 37member
    I think Apple's recent announcements will make their devices much more resilient. iTunes Match converts to ACC and the cloud awesomeness is iPhones only.
  • Reply 4 of 96
    Gee! Why tell us about 2015? I would much rather hear about 2030 or 2050! Just as valuable! Just as reliable, too. Thanks, IDC.
  • Reply 5 of 96
    msimpsonmsimpson Posts: 452member
    IDC is owned by IDG. IDG media company with a number of interests, including the "For Dummies" series of books. As in "Market Analysis for Dummies". IDG also runs trades shows, including MacWorld. (the trade show Apple dropped out of). IDG also runs websites that generate revenue from ads. So either someone contracts IDC to do a market analysis, or IDC is considered overhead and the studies are funded by IDG. The problem with most analysts and market studies is they are done through a perspective of models based on past actions, and don't really hold up to game changing events. I wonder if they analyzed which company will generate the most revenue through smartphones?
  • Reply 6 of 96
    Yeah, FOGIFs (Friends Of Gartner, IDC & Forrester)s - ridiculous.

    This is MY prediction: Google's Android will Fizzle Out.

    Only cheaters can support Google because Google stabbed Apple in the back - their founders were mentored by Steve Jobs, went on walks with him and made many visits to Apple's campus; and their CEO at the time was on the board of Apple and also on stage when Apple launched iPhone in 2007.

    You should see Android's beta version at the time (very much like BlackBerry's) and how quickly they copied Apple's iPhone OS.

    Apple's iPhone will have over 50% share in 2015 with Android at 15% because of still ongoing BOGO (Buy One Get One) deals and BNGO (Buy None Get One) deals!!!

    And Windows - the less said the better! Only IDC and Gartner can predict them to be bigger than Apple - because they are FOGIFs !!!!
  • Reply 7 of 96
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,969member
    How can any analyst predict what will happen four or five years from now, especially in the highly volatile tech sector? What if Steve Jobs pulls another rabbit out of his hat? He's done it many times in the past. And then there's the Oracle lawsuit against Google/Android which could derail the march to market share.
  • Reply 8 of 96
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,242member
    They have repeatedly failed to predict Mac Sales.

    Then came the iPhone and they repeatedly spoke of it's demise.

    Then came the iPad and they panned it as the first entry soon to be overtaken.

    They now come back to the iPhone but first steal Jobsian views of Post PC and now they project Apple will take a minor stake in a market they already have 50+ Profit stake in and climbing.

    If people haven't gathered this yet, both IDC and Gartner get heavy payments from Microsoft to prop up Microsoft's future.
  • Reply 9 of 96
    doggonedoggone Posts: 181member

    Who cares - if Apple still capture 10-20% of a market that they predict to grow to 1B units annually, then they will be getting revenues of around $40B to $80B assuming the ASP will drop to $400 per unit.

  • Reply 10 of 96
    bmorganbmorgan Posts: 1member
    1. I predict that there is no way that WinMo will ever.... ever.... see a 20% market share in the future. 3% in 2015 would be optimistic.

    2. I predict that RIM will be in the same shape as Palm is today by 2015.... If not before.

    3. I predict that IPhone will have at least 25% of the market share by 2015.

    4. I predict that my predictions will be much more accurate than IDC pipe dreams.
  • Reply 11 of 96
    landokelandoke Posts: 9member
    This of course misses a big fact, highlighted this week in the WWDC Keynote:

    iOS controls 44% of mobile OS marketshare, vs. Android at 28%.

    Apple's smart enough to understand that mobile ≠*only smartphones.
  • Reply 12 of 96
    gariongarion Posts: 62member
    If this pans out, I'd actually say that 16.9% of the 2015 smartphone market would be a pretty nice chunk of marketshare for the iPhone. Especially when considering that the market is predicted to have grown by a massive 55% by then. That's nearly 17% of a much bigger pie.

    But my imagination struggles with the prediction that Nokia's Windows phones are supposed to overtake the iPhone in marketshare over the next 3-4 years! Really?

    No matter how good the actual "Winokia" handsets turn out to be, and they may be very nice indeed, I just don't see how Microsoft and Nokia can manage to build a strong enough ecosystem for their platform in that timespan to fuel such a tremendous growth?

    The smartphone market is a very different place now than it was in 2007 when the iPhone took the market by storm. Today, and for the foreseeable future, "Winokia" will be facing extremely tough competition from at least two very established giants in the market: Apple's iPhone and Google's Android phones. Add to that the competition from RIM's Black Berry and HP's WebOS, and I simple can't bring myself to believe that Microsoft/Nokia can overtake the iPhone in marketshare by 2015.
  • Reply 13 of 96
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    In the next four years, the biggest shift will come from Nokia's Symbian, which IDC predicts will drop from 20.6 percent to 0.1 percent as the company switches over to the Windows Phone platform. Microsoft will see big gains from its deal with Nokia, jumping up from 3.8 percent in 2011 to 20.3 percent in 2015.


    C'mon, this is a no brainer! Anybody knows that correlation.
  • Reply 14 of 96
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,121member
    Idiotic ramblings.

    Can't believe people actually take these types of prognostications seriously. Does anyone know someone (outside of the journalist community) that does? I certainly don't.
  • Reply 15 of 96
    ajitmdajitmd Posts: 365member
    Most of these analysts are sitting on the horse backwards... looking at the scenery that went by. They are not looking at the changes taking place up front on the horizon.

    The integration of iCloud with iOS and OSX are truly revolutionary. There are a few rough edges, but Apple will persist till they get it right. Just like iTunes, App Store, etc created a value chain for Apple products, so will the seamless integration of iCloud. A lot of these services are available from 3rd parties, but not integrated. Security is important... and I do not think I want to trust fly by night companies with my content... or even Google, that has conflict of interest and sells info.

    These changes will enable Apple to dominate the profitability and even market share in terms of revenues.
  • Reply 16 of 96
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    First off IDCs numbers don't mean what they seem to mean.

    Currently smartphones make up about 25% of the handset market, so with 18.2% of that Apple has around 5% of the total handset market. IDC is predicting smartphones will be 50% of the market, and apple will have 16.9% of that, so up at 8.5% of the global handset market.

    Now personally I think that's still on the low-side, given how fast their US share is rising they may be at 8.5% of the global handset market by year end.

    This was linked by John Gruber a while back and is a really useful link for trying to understand how market share really breaks down in the mobile space:
  • Reply 17 of 96
    Originally Posted by tomlawler View Post

    Gee! Why tell us about 2015? I would much rather hear about 2030 or 2050! Just as valuable! Just as reliable, too. Thanks, IDC.

    Yea I was thinking the same thing. 4 years is an eternity in this business. 4 years ago the original iPhone wasn't even on the shelves
  • Reply 18 of 96
    yodaxl7yodaxl7 Posts: 7member
    By 2015: android 25 %, iOS 32%, webOS 10%, RIM 15%, win7 18%.

    Android is like nokia's symbian. I suspect Google will have to deal with Oracle rain in terror and causes some instability in the os. Also, suspect the weakest android hardware companies will fade into bankruptcy. Samsung, HTC are the strongest. LG,Motorola are weaker. Others are even lesser known.

    Apple's iOS will continue to evolve! os X lasted 10 plus years and so will ios X.

    HP webos may or may not be a success. It's past performance have been sad.

    Microsoft: Symbians folks are getting tired of Nokia. They will not buy another Nokia phone. Android and iOS will take them.
  • Reply 19 of 96
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    meh, "marketshare", who cares about "marketshare" as long as Apple continues to sell more physical units than it did before.

    That's where the money is.
  • Reply 20 of 96
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,945member
    Originally Posted by tomlawler View Post

    Gee! Why tell us about 2015? I would much rather hear about 2030 or 2050! Just as valuable! Just as reliable, too. Thanks, IDC.

    2015 is probably the amount of time IDC thinks the WP8 need to reclaim its past glory.
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