For the first time in recorded history, the International Data Corporation expects yearly global smartphone sales growth to fall under the 10-percent mark. Of course, growth is growth, and shouldn’t be interpreted as an ominous sign of what’s to come, unless we’re talking about Microsoft.

Yes, IDC attributes market saturation, which will likely only get worse in the next four years, to the missteps of so-called “alternative platforms”, unable to provide competition for Android and iOS, and options for end users.

Redmond suffers greatly both as far as profit margins are concerned and in terms of shipment numbers, with the average selling price of Windows Phones projected at $148 this year, and volumes tipped to drop by more than 10 percent compared to 2014.

Going forward, Microsoft should turn things around and see its sales boosted from 31.3 million units to 43.6M in 2019. But that sounds like the textbook definition of a microscopic progress, with Windows Mobile market share prospectively surging a pithy 0.1 percent in 48 whole months.

And that’s if IDC’s forecasts prove right on the money, which is never a guarantee in the long haul. Heck, specific prophecies like this rarely hit the mark even on the short term.

Assuming the research, analysis and advisory firm has some sort of deal with the devil allowing it to know exactly how the volatile mobile industry will evolve, Android should retain its comfortable lead over iOS through 2019, as both operating systems are expected to raise their volumes, but only Google’s platform looking at higher shares too.

Namely, Android shipments will probably jump from 1.1 billion copies in 2015 to 1.5 four years from now, while iPhones shall grow from 226 to 263 million. Those figures are reportedly enough for 81.2 and 15.8 percent slices of the pie currently, and 82.6 and 14.1 respectively in 2019.

Last but not least, let’s not forget to mention worldwide smartphone sales should cross 1.4 billion in total this year, up “just” 9.8 percent over 2014.

Source: IDC

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