It's already more than a year now since the first forecasts appeared claiming Microsoft's Windows Phone would be the second biggest OS in town in the next few years, having bumped iOS down a notch behind the all-powerful Android.
Yet despite what most of us would say has been a year of disappointment for WinPho, IDC is sticking to its guns, saying WP will (just) manage to eclipse Apple's mobile OS over the next four years.
The mobile OS space has for the most part become pretty simple over the past year: if you're Android and iOS, good times. If you're not... not so much. Windows Phone has come closest to breaking that mould, but when you think at the energy and money that's gone into the Nokia Lumia project, for instance, it really hasn't made too much inroads into the two leading contenders.
Still, IDC says any further gains will be even more hard-fought going forward. “The smartphone parade won’t be as lively this year as it has been in past,” IDC analyst Kevin Restivo said in revealing the firm's latest long-term forecast.
“The mobile phone user transition from feature phones to smartphones will continue in a gradual but unabated fashion. Smartphone growth, however, will increasingly be driven by a triumvirate of smartphone operating systems, namely Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7.”
The latest picture for 2016 shows Android continuing to dominate, but not to quite the extent it does at the moment. Most of that slack will have been taken up by Windows Phone, which will use those gains to come in narrowly ahead of iOS in second place, just short of 20% market share.
For us, probably more controversial at this point in time is the idea that BlackBerry OS' 6.0% helping of smartphone pie right now will be almost unchanged at 5.9% four years from now. That's putting a lot of faith not just in BlackBerry 10, but 11, 12 and 13 after that. We're not convinced.