IDC: Windows market share doubles by 2018, iOS/Android still in charge

Here's an interesting statistic you may not have seen coming: Windows Phone is expected to double their global market share over the next three years or so, according to IDC. In their most recent forecast, the analytics firm is noting Windows will become a more prominent player in the global smartphone market, while incumbents hold fast. IDC also cites the proliferation of lower priced phones with higher end specs as those to look for on the world stage, as emerging markets become important.

Total shipments, however, will slow. In 2014, IDC says 1.3 billion smartphones wer shipped, an increase of 26.3% from 2013. In 2015, they forecast 1.4 billion shipments, or 12.2% growth. By 2018, IDC thinks only 1.9 billion smartphones will ship, for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.8%.

Revenues from smartphones will also take a hit, as those OnePlus Ones and Xiaomi Mis of the world challenge the status quo. According to IDC, a CAGR of 4.2% can be expected for revenues between the 2014-2018 period.

Still, Android will reign supreme, though IDC isn't convinced in the method for doing so. If IDC is correct, the emerging market will be a bit of history rhyming:

Meanwhile, Android's multi-faceted approach – with forked versions and low-cost Android One strategy – will produce mixed results, yet it allows deeper penetration into emerging markets. That can lead to additional pressure on its vendor partners, who will need to seek greater differentiation in terms of devices and experiences in the hyper-competitive smartphone market.

IDC also thinks Apple is smart with their bottom line, saying "Apple's approach with premium pricing ensures a growing portion of overall revenues despite its declining market share", even though the shirt toward value looms large.

By 2018, Android will still reign supreme, holding court with 80% of the worldwide market. Apple will have roughly 12.8%, both ceding ground to Windows, where Microsoft is expected to make a jump from 2.7% to 5.6% market share globally. Though they don't say as much, perhaps IDC is as excited by Windows 10 as the rest of us.

The "other" category is also expected to jump by 2018, where IDC thinks a 0.5% increase is possible. It should be noted that the "other" category is where IDC has relegated Blackberry to, so in the next three to four years, IDC sees no real hope for your old favorite OS.