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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Analysts Optimistic on Windows Phone Growth

With plenty of motivation and enthusiasm, an armload of new devices and 4G networks waiting to connect them, Microsoft and Nokia could gain some traction this year with the updated Windows Phone 7 platform.

That seems to be the bullish view of Morgan Stanley, which predicts some 37 million Nokia Windows phones will be shipped this year. Figures from 2011 aren't in yet, but Windows has ranked near the bottom in smartphone operating system market share analyses. Gartner estimated a 1.5 percent share for the third quarter, with about 1.7 million units powered by Windows shipped.

Shipments Rising Fast

Google's Android powered 52 percent of devices shipped during that quarter, with more than 60 million units.

But Morgan Stanley sees a huge increase for Nokia's Windows phone output in 2013, with a rise from 37 million to 64 million, the firm told The Wall Street Journal's All Things D blog. Factor in a projected 6 million HTC Windows phones this year, with another 10 million next year, and the numbers total 43 million Windows phones this year and 74 million next year.

Of course, that pales in comparison to the financial firm's estimate of 190 million iPhones for Apple next year alone.

Microsoft and Nokia, which is now headed by former Microsoft exec Stephen Elop, last year signed an agreement believed to be worth $1 billion to add Windows Phone 7 to the Finnish handset maker's devices, in a move to boost sales for both companies. They are expected to invest $20 million to market the new phones, including the Lumia 900 unveiled Tuesday at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The Lumia 900 runs on AT&T's new long-term evolution high-speed data network.

But Nokia isn't completely giving up its own Symbian operating system for smartphones. Morgan Stanley projects that Nokia will ship 40 million...

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