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If you want good, cogent analysis of current trends with accurate predictions of the future, go to any analyst, then take whatever they've said, completely reverse the prediction, and you might -- just might -- have something worth standing behind.
Case in point: Gartner recently released projections of the worldwide smartphone market in 2015. According to Gartner:
Worldwide smartphone sales will reach 468 million units in 2011, a 57.7 percent increase from 2010, according to Gartner Inc. By the end of 2011, Android will move to become the most popular operating system (OS) worldwide and will build on its strength to account for 49 percent of the smartphone market by 2012 (see Table 1).
So far so good, right? Given the current pace of Android sales, it's reasonable to conclude that, barring some unforeseen issue, Google's mobile platform will be the most dominant in the world (in terms of handset sales, if not software sales, mindshare, or all-around coolness). Where Gartner goes off the rails, however, is in their assertion that Microsoft's Windows Phone platform will rise to number 3, world-wide:
Gartner predicts that Nokia will push Windows Phone well into the mid-tier of its portfolio by the end of 2012, driving the platform to be the third largest in the worldwide ranking by 2013. Gartner has revised its forecast of Windows Phone’s market share upward, solely by virtue of Microsoft’s alliance with Nokia. Although this is an honorable performance it is considerably less than what Symbian had achieve in the past underlying the upward battle that Nokia has to face.
Is this possible? Sure, Gartner has earned the mockery of everyone in the tech space with the way they reached their conclusions: they simply took Symbian's current marketshare and gave it to Windows Phone 7, without any apparent consideration of whether or not current Symbian users might stick around when the big switch happens next year. Consensus from the tech sphere seems to be that they won't, but who's to say? If Apple announced tomorrow that they were going to adopt WebOS instead of iOS going forward, would the millions of active iPhone users switch to another platform? Where would they go? Nokia customers have already shown that they prefer Nokia's current smartphone experience, which is by many standards inferior to iOS, because they like it. Maybe they'll like Windows Phone 7 even more.
Whatever the case, given Gartner's (or any other analyst) track-record, the fact that they have made the prediction at all means it will most likely not come true, and that Microsoft won't achieve that much of the market. Now, if Gartner was saying Microsoft was going to crash and burn, we should be worried.