IDC Forecasts Uphill Sales Climb For Windows 10 Mobile

Microsoft's been hard at work trying to unite devices from different categories under a single ecosystem, and spreading Windows 10 Mobile to the masses is one of the keys to achieving that goal. The good news for Microsoft is that at least one market research firm is projecting an uptick in smartphones running Windows 10 Mobile over the next few years.

International Data Corporation (IDC) projects that Windows Phone shipments will tally 31.3 million units by the end of the year, giving Microsoft a 2.2 percent share of the smartphone OS market. By 2019, shipments will reach 43.6 million units. That's not a bad jump, though IDC's perspective tilts towards the gloomy side.

Microsoft Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL

That's because the market research firm is focused on market share. Despite the rise in shipments, IDC predicts Windows Phone devices will account for just 2.3 percent of the smartphone market in 2019, essentially remaining flat over the course of at least the next four years.

"Despite all the effort Microsoft has put into the launch of Windows 10, IDC does not expect Microsoft's share of the smartphone OS market to grow much over the coming years," IDC said. "In 2015, IDC expects the average selling price (ASP) of Windows Phones to be $148, which is $71 lower than Android's ASP of $219. This was brought about by the Microsoft/Nokia push into the low-end mass market. While this approach helped drive shipments up to 34.9 million units in 2014, IDC is forecasting a year-over-year decline of -10.2 percent in 2015, followed by further decline in 2016. The weak results can largely be attributed to the lack of OEM partner support."

One thing the research firm might not be taking into full account is Microsoft's push into high end territory. Its recently released Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL devices are flagship handsets with tantalizing hardware, marred for the moment through an exclusivity agreement with AT&T.

IDC didn't just pick on Microsoft, the research firm was sour on the smartphone market as a whole, which is set to record its full year of single-digit growth ever at 9.8 percent.