This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Microsoft to Surpass Apple in Smartphone Wars? Not So Fast

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I have high hopes for Microsoft's (MSFT) forthcoming Windows 8 operating system. In fact, working in concert with Xbox SmartGlass, I truly believe it could be an Apple (AAPL) and Android killer.

That said, the bold prediction IDC released this week even made me pause. The well-respected research firm thinks Windows Phone will surpass Apple's iOS and become the number two smartphone operating system in the world by 2016 behind a somewhat stalled-out, but still dominant, Android.

If I was the biased Apple hater so many of the company's permabulls make me out to be, I would have taken the IDC report without a second thought and ran with it. But if nothing else, pat me on the back for being objective and digging deeper.

I've never been a fan of precise predictions. In my mind it's one thing to make the qualitative statement that Microsoft will challenge and maybe even put the hurt on Apple and Google (GOOG) with Windows 8, but it's a whole 'nother proposition to claim it will command X-point-X percent of the market come 2016. While I respect the power of quantitative models, I refuse to submit to them.

Too many variables come into play. So many things can and probably will change that I'm not sure I even see the sense in using perfectly good resources to make such predictions. But that's at least part of what IDC does. If it does it well, I guess it does not waste time, money and manpower to get it done. Maybe the smartphone projections the firm makes can actually be useful, if not prescient.

I decided to look to recent history to see how similar IDC projections, made by some of the same analysts, have held up.

In September 2010, IDC released a report a bit like the one that prompted the positive headlines for Microsoft. It produced a mix bag.

On one hand, IDC notes that Android and iOS "have taken away both mindshare and market share from the old regime" of Research in Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry and Nokia's (NOK) Symbian OS. However, the firm went on to argue:

Symbian will maintain its number one standing throughout the forecast period with 32.9% share in 2014. However, it will lose share, primarily to Android, which is expected to grow its share fastest over the forecast period, rising from 16.3% to 24.6%. Meanwhile, Windows Mobile is expected to regain some of the share it has lost over the past two years and BlackBerry's share will remain relatively constant while that of iOS will decline gradually.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,122.01 +15.31 0.09%
S&P 500 2,000.12 +0.10 0.00%
NASDAQ 4,569.6210 -1.0160 -0.02%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs