The unfortunate user interface of Windows Phone 7 seems unlikely to support these predictions of IHS. It's not enough to say that the table has already been proven wrong for 2011 numbers. WP7 did not sell 1.9% of the smartphone units in 2011; it barely reached 1.3% bin the third quarter. Microsoft has a lot of work to do before it can hope to sell smartphones; WP7 was poorly conceived -- seemingly imagined by a team of feature phone users rather than smart phone users. Tiles are inconvenient because such a small number of them can be simultaneously displayed. The result is that the rich set of apps that most smartphones are equipped with cannot be accessed on a WP7 phone without extended periods of paging through screens. The selection of the tiles UI limits the user through inconvenience to only a few applications, functionally placing any WP7 phone into the category of a feature phone rather than a smart phone.
And Nokia is the most unimaginable provider of smartphones. Nokia's dwindling business is built around marketing feature phones to the third world at low prices; they seem an ulikely candidate to gain traction selling high end phones. Further, WP7 is certainly positioned to be used only on low end offerings by its design, so even if WP7 someday breaks 15% in units sold in the market, will never capture 5% of market dollars in sales nor 1% in market profit. Couple that with the reality that IHS can't face -- developers will not be producing WP7 apps due to the low likelyhood of recovering development costs through future sales. Customers will always prefer to buy a phone for which apps are known to be available rather than a phone for which few apps of interest are available.
I too was a former Windows Mobile 6.X user who did not find WP7 attractive. I just recently bought an Android phone.
Microsoft made a fateful design decision late in 2008 to do a new interface in Silverlight rather than fix what they had. Two years later, they delivered WP7. In this case it appears that time to market mattered considerably. Also they lost the support of much of their user and developer base by making WP7 incompatible by UI and API.
I believe they have a few ways to succeed:
1) Make the new Windows 8 APIs (WinRT) succeed and move them down to the phone.
2)Small tablets with IP communication replace the former need for an audio dialtone.
3) Buy T-mobile, and make them sell only Wp7 phones at prices dramtically less than the competition.
I was a former Windows 5.x, 6.x phone user that switched to Android when I was dissapointed by Win7 phone. While Win8 looks like it will finally have some competetive features, I fail to see why anyone would buy a Windows Phone, even coporate users. And I see even less compelling reason to buy a Nokia phone, LTE? OLED screen? are far from new. Oh and only a hand full of users buy a cell phone based on camera megapixels. It is a third order consideration! ... I think these predictions are completely incorrect!
Nokia had taken their eye off both the growing competition of smartphones as well as the US market and it will remain to be seen whether or not a Windows smartphone can solve that problem.
It would have been nice if the story had some input for some users. How many people wants a Windows phone vs. an Android phone?
Forecasts by IHS may be right, but alas, forecasts are only forecasts. Reality has a habit of ruining forecasts.
A Book For All Reasons Bernard Cole1 Comment Robert Oshana's recent book "Software Engineering for Embedded Systems (Newnes/Elsevier)," written and edited with Mark Kraeling, is a 'book for all reasons.' At almost 1,200 pages, it ...