A new report suggests that underdog Windows Phone is just four years from overtaking the iPhone as the second most popular mobile platform on Earth. Microsoft's platform currently holds 5% of the global market, while Apple holds more than 20%, according to IDC, although some suggest Apple's share is higher while Microsoft's is lower.
Nonetheless, by 2015, IDC forecasts Microsoft to pull narrowly ahead of Apple (by 0.2%). But it's not the Windows Phone eating the iPhone. Android will drop from 61% to 53%, allowing Windows to grow to just over 19%, while Apple will lose less than 2%, falling to 19% of the global smartphone marketshare. RIM will remain virtually identical as it is today at 6%.
Nokia, who has a major partnership with Microsoft for smartphones, believes that only a maximum of three platforms can survive on a global scale. Currently, it's a two-horse race. But Windows Phone will be that third, not RIM, according to both IDC and Nokia (and, presumably, Microsoft).
It seems unfathomable that Microsoft could overtake Apple in such a short period of time. Then again, we all witnessed what Apple and Android did to RIM, who once seemed an indestructible juggernaut.