Smartphone growth continues according to the latest “shipments share” numbers from IDC. The firm anticipates Android will reach 80 percent global market share this year but decline to roughly 77 percent in four years largely because of Windows Phone growth.
The iPhone remains strong in developed markets and weak in developing markets where the handset is too expensive for many. The report acknowledges the potential positive impact of a larger-screen iPhone but doesn’t believe that will significantly affect Apple’s global market share.
IDC sees Windows Phone handset share growing from 3.5 percent globally to more than 6 percent in 2018. On a percentage basis Windows Phone growth “will outpace the market.” BlackBerry by contrast is almost gone by 2018, one of the most spectacular corporate collapses in recent history.
It’s unclear how Nokia will fare under the Nadella regime. Former CEO Steve Ballmer was the architect of the acquisition. When asked at the Code Conference whether he favored buying the Nokia hardware business, Nadella expressed pretty open ambivalence saying “I’m not going to answer that.”
Google/Android’s continuing OS success may bring increasing regulatory scrutiny around the world (though not in the US). While Android is technically an “open” operating system its major strains (much of the global market share) is fairly tightly controlled by Google.