With the recent Nokia deal, Windows Mobile is back! While Nokia seems irrelevant in the US, Symbian still has 37.6 % market share globally (amongst smart phones), and more importantly, Nokia has 40+ % of the global cellphone market (of devices sold by the top 10 cellphone makers). So, while Nokia will continue to loose share in 2011/2012, it will remain the largest cellphone maker (in volume terms) for a while.
I think that Windows Mobile has a credible shot at 30 % + market share of all cellphones by 2015 up from 4.2 % of all smartphones today.
- By 2015, all phones will be smart phones, and just with Nokia alone, Windows Mobile could have 30% + market share. In addition Samsung, HTC, LG and other Asian manufacturers will all hedge their bets and sell a mix of Windows Mobile and Android.
- Nokia and Microsoft both have a very strong retail and corporate distribution channel in Asia and Europe. Together, they have also strong relationships with both carriers and large enterprises, which both Google and Apple lack.
- MSFT has a very strong developer ecosystem in Asia and Europe and amongst enterprise developers in the US. In India, which has the 2nd largest number of developers after the US, .NET has more developers than the open source stack. Not a surprise when you consider that Indian developers cut their teeth at the IT out-sourcers which use .NET extensively.
The Windows-Nokia alliance could be the new WINTEL, and in time may be remembered as pivotal as Yahoo’s decision to out-source search to Bing or even IBM’s decision to out-source the PC OS to Microsoft. In particular, this is bad news for RIM’s platform and HP’s Web OS (formerly Palm), both of which I suspect will be history by 2015. Google will continue to be the market leader with 50% + of the market and Apple will end up with 15 % in volume terms and highly profitable.
Off course all this assumes that MSFT and Nokia can execute together, which is a big IF! What do you think? Does Windows Mobile have nine lives?