updated 06:55 pm EST, Thu January 19, 2012
iSuppli optimistic Nokia will revive Windows Phone
IHS iSuppli made an optimistic estimate late Wednesday that Windows Phone would overtake the iPhone in market share by 2015. It saw Nokia's switch to Windows Phones like the Lumia 900 as a catalyst, taking Windows Phone from just 1.9 percent in 2011 to nine percent in 2012 and 16.7 percent in 2015. At that rate, it would just be ahead of Apple, which researchers thought would have 16.7 percent.
Much of the study's hopes were pinned on the belief that the Lumia 900 was part of a much deeper commitment to North America, which many consider the heart of the smartphone world and crucial to getting market share. The "hot" LTE phone, along with deals for multiple phones on two carriers each in Canada and the US, was proof Nokia understood that it had to go through carriers in the area.
Other companies would contribute to Windows Phone's bottom line, but the study predicted that half of all phones on the platform sold in 2012 would come from Nokia, and 62 percent by 2013. Corporate deals would also help Nokia, IHS iSuppli said, although none of these have been announced so far.
The estimate has the advantage of real-world devices to work from but still carries with it certain assumptions from earlier predictions that arrived before Nokia even showed its first Windows Phone. It presumes that Nokia's brand name is still strong enough to recapture lost share and that many of those abandoning Symbian over the years will follow Nokia into Windows Phone rather than switch to Android or the iPhone.
Microsoft, despite investing hundreds of millions of dollars into Windows Phone marketing, has been unable to get much share and may not necessarily get a savior in Nokia. Early murmurs from Europe have alluded to slow Lumia 800 sales there as well, which if sustained would leave Nokia in the same position it was in before it dropped Symbian.