Ina Fried

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IDC Sees Windows Phone Grabbing Share From iOS, Android

Despite its slow start, Windows Phone should still be able to grab a significant share of the smartphone market in the coming years, at least according to the crystal ball over at IDC.

The market researcher said on Wednesday that it expects Windows Phone to be the No. 2 mobile operating system by 2016, with 19 percent of the global smartphone market, up from just over 5 percent for 2012. However, that assumption is predicated on the notion that Nokia can maintain its strong presence in emerging markets.

Android is seen dropping from 61 percent share this year to just below 53 percent by 2016, while iOS is seen as relatively steady with just over 20 percent of the market this year, and just below that level in 2016.

BlackBerry apparently continues its decline, while Symbian’s fall off the smartphone map should be complete by 2014.

“There will continue to be a market for BlackBerry OS-powered devices, despite Research In Motion’s current woes,” IDC said in its report. “This is true in emerging markets, for example, where users are looking for affordable messaging devices. However, the gulf between the BlackBerry OS and its primary competition will widen over the forecast as the mobile phone market becomes increasingly software/app-oriented and the ‘bring your own device’ enterprise trend proliferates.”

Overall, mobile phone shipments are seen growing 4 percent this year, to 1.8 billion phones. However, that’s the slowest growth rate since 2009, as growth in smartphones barely outpaces a double-digit drop in feature-phone shipments. Total phone shipments are seen hitting 2.3 billion by 2016.

“The smartphone parade won’t be as lively this year as it has been in the past,” IDC analyst Kevin Restivo said in a statement. “Smartphone growth, however, will increasingly be driven by a triumvirate of smartphone operating systems, namely Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7.”

Chart: Worldwide Top 5 Smartphone OS Market Share Forecast, 1Q 2012Description: Tags: Author: IDCcharts powered by iCharts

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus