IDC: Windows Phone stands to grow the fastest compared to Android and iOS by 2017

Windows Phone

International Data Corporation has released their yearly forecast figures for 2014, which presents a pretty interesting picture of what we could expect this year in terms of smartphone shipments. Last year, IDC mentioned smartphone shipments rose to a record 1 billion. For 2014, IDC bumps the number to 1.2 billion, an increase of almost 19.3 percent compared to 2013. As far as Windows Phone is concerned, IDC believes it will be the fastest growing mobile OS, and also expects 47 million Windows Phone handsets to ship later this year with a 3.9 percent market share.

"Windows Phone stands to grow the fastest among the leading smartphone operating systems, with continued support from Nokia as well as the addition of nine new Windows Phone partners. Most of these new vendors come from emerging markets and could help bring the Windows Phone experience to customers there," according to IDC.

Android will still lead the figures for 2014 with shipments amounting to a whopping 950 million and the highest market share followed by iOS with 179.9 million units. This shouldn't be surprising as Android is still the leading OS, especially in emerging markets, thanks to the low-cost offerings by the OEMs.

Despite the rise in the global shipments, IDC mentions mature markets like North America and Europe will see a drop, with the smartphone growth declining significantly. 

On the other hand, the good news for customers is that the average selling price for the handsets will fall this year, especially in the emerging markets. The average selling price for 2013 was $335, which is expected to go down to $308 in 2014, and going as low as $260 by 2018. However, every OEM will not jump into the budget smartphone market, but those who do will have to take extreme steps in order to succeed. 

"In order to reach the untapped demand within emerging markets, carriers and OEMs will need to work together to bring prices down. Last year we saw a total of 322.5 million smartphone units ship for under $150 and that number will continue to grow going forward. We've already seen numerous smartphone announcements targeting this price band this year, with some as low as $25. Just as the dynamics have changed for overall smartphone growth, so have the dynamics for smartphone pricing in the markets where continued growth is expected. Not all vendors will want to get into this space, but those that do must make deliberate choices about their strategies in order to succeed," said Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team.

As far as Windows Phone is concerned, the average selling price for Windows Phone handsets are expected to be $265 for 2014, and will continue to decline with the price going as low as $195 in 2018. Windows Phone currently has a number of budget-friendly smartphones in the sub-$150 tier, for instance, Nokia Lumia 520 and more recently, the Lumia 525. 

What do you think about the numbers from IDC?