by Anton Shilov
09/01/2011 | 06:59 PM
As the next-generation Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" operating system comes closer, Microsoft Corp. begins to make predictions about its market prospects. Perhaps, the company is too optimistic, but it calls forecasts by market research companies too conservative and expects Windows Phone to command about 20% of the market in two to three years.
"Forecasts by researchers Gartner and IDC, which expects a market share of about 20% in 2015, are conservative," said Achim Berg, corporate vice president of Windows Phone marketing, reports Bloomberg news-agency.
The high-ranking executive at Microsoft expects popularity of Windows Phone 7/7.5 platform to grow extremely rapidly thanks to new features, lower prices and improved experience. At present Microsoft is working hard to promote Windows Phone among consumers and among other things it trains "hundreds" of salesmen globally to better demonstrate Windows Phone-based handsets.
"Microsoft plans to build on Windows Phone’s initial success with female consumers as well as with young and first-time users to win market share. This is a completely new platform, it takes time. It took time with Android, it took time with Apple. We have to show that we’re very capable and that we have the fastest and easiest phone," added Mr. Berg.
HTC Titan (left), HTC Radar (right)
One of the problems that Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" will face particularly in Europe, when it launches on October 1, 2011, are pretty high prices of the first handsets - HTC Titan and HTC Radar - for the women, the young and the first time users: Titan will cost €599 ($855), Radar will cost €399 ($569). HTC seems to remain optimistic.
“We’re seeing an extremely positive response to the Windows Mobile system. We are now thinking that this year is a great time to get that momentum accelerated, to reach out to a broader group of customers," said Florian Seiche, , HTC’s president for EMEA.
But while Microsoft seems to be bullish and even overoptimistic about market potential of Windows Phone, it seems that at present it is not really popular. Based on recent findings from Gartner market research firm, the share of Microsoft Windows Phone- and Windows Mobile-based smartphones decreased to 1.6% in Q2 2011, down from 4.9% a year before. In fact, WP and WM handsets are currently behind Samsung's proprietary Bada (1.9%), RIM's Blackberry (11.7%) and Apple's iOS (18.2%) despite of the fact that they are available from numerous vendors.