Strategy Analytics is, at least to our knowledge, the first market research firm that believes that Windows Phone 8 will not be enough to help Microsoft capture a greater market share in the smartphone arena.
In an updated market forecast, the company said that that "future versions of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 platform will need to dramatically improve support for advanced technologies like multi-core chipsets, enhance the Marketplace app store, [and] expand the number of phone models available from major partners like Nokia or Samsung." Strategy Analytics also noted that Microsoft should consider lowering the license fees per unit.
For now, it appears that the market share of Windows Phoen devices, is growing, albeit not at the pace Microsoft would want. For 2012, Strategy Analytics estimates shipments of about 5 million Windows Phones, up from 3.5 million in 2011. The impact of praised phones such as Nokia's Lumia 900 is not as strong as anticipated. The increase in sales will give Microsoft about 4.1 percent market share, up from 3.5 percent in 2011, if Strategy Analytics is correct.
"Despite ongoing economic volatility, we forecast 123 million smartphones to be sold in the United States in 2012, growing 21 percent from 102 million units in 2011," said Strategy Analytics analyst Scott Bicheno. "Microsoft captured 3 percent share of all smartphones sold in the United States during 2011, rising steadily to a forecast 4 percent share in 2012. Nokia, HTC and Samsung have some of the biggest Microsoft smartphone portfolios at present and they will be three main hardware vendors driving growth this year."