With Microsoft practically ready to give up on its dream of a consumer-relevant mobile platform, BlackBerry finally on board the Android bandwagon, and Tizen, Firefox OS or Sailfish on the brink of absolute extinction, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist or professional market researcher to tell the current smartphone duopoly is only set to deepen in the near future.
But the billion-dollar question is can Android and iOS both post share gains this year as global stagnation intensifies? The International Data Corporation (IDC) claims it’s able to guess the answer, which Apple isn’t going to like.
According to the firm’s June 1-revised forecast, iPhone shipments will fall short of 227 million units in 2016, down around two percentage points from last year’s 232M total. That whole decline, as well as those of Windows Phone and “other” platforms, shall of course be seized by Google’s world-leading mobile OS, expected to exceed 1.24 billion shipments, enough for 6.2 percent year-over-year growth, and a more dominant than ever 83.7 percent slice of the pie.
iOS will obviously follow in second place, with 15.3 percent share, whereas Windows Mobile is tipped to collapse below the one-percent mark. All in all, smartphones are to continue to surge in 2016, but by just 3.6 percent, compared to the 2015 gain of 10.5 points. Clearly, this time the industry can’t escape the dreaded single-digit growth.
Looking towards the distant future, IDC anticipates a return to prosperity for iPhones as early as 2017, and 3.2 percent CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) through 2020. Still, the gap between Android and iOS could widen further, from a projected 68.4 percent at the end of 2016 to more than 70 percent four years down the line.
Windows Phone? If it’s somehow going to survive, it should barely account for 0.4 percent of worldwide 2020 smartphone sales, or a pithy 6.8 million copies. Just throw in the towel, Redmond.