Microsoft is to become a dominant player in the smartphone market, according to the latest data from Canalys and could have gained six times its current market share in the next few years.
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By 2017, the analyst predicted Microsoft’s market share would range from 2.4% to 12.7%, making it a serious third force in the smartphone market behind Android and Apple.
“The scalability of Microsoft’s platform will be critical to its success and it has made progress here by enabling Huawei and Nokia to deliver Windows Phone products at aggressive price points,” said Jessica Kwee, an analyst at Canalys.
Nokia is the most active supplier in the Microsoft camp and it continues to make steady progress with its Lumia portfolio, according to Canalys.
Growth in the smartphone market would be driven by Android. By 2012, there will be over 470 million Android-based smartphones shipped. By 2017 this number will have more than doubled to over 1 billion, with Android taking a 67.1% market share, according to Canalys’ forecast.
Worldwide smartphone shipments
Apple’s market share by 2017 is expected to fall from 19.5% to 14.1%. “Apple’s growth will be curtailed by the fact that momentum in the smart phone market is coming from the low end, and Apple is absent from this segment,” Kwee explained.
As for Blackberry, Canalys said its outlook remained positive. Shipments are expected to more than double. But for this to happen, it needs to phase out BlackBerry 7 devices quickly and add BlackBerry 10 devices across a range of price points, the analyst noted.