Report: Windows Phone to See Industry Leading Growth Through 2017

It’s a headline that Microsoft is certainly happy about. But when you probe deeper into the new estimates from Analysys Mason, the growth projected won’t necessarily put the Windows Phone on pace to topple the likes of iOS and Android in the smartphone world.

According to the report in question, the Windows Phone will become the fastest-growing OS in the next 5 years. But by then, it will still only possess a single-digit share of the smartphone market.

Let’s put it this way: the projections are correct, Microsoft will only ship as many Windows Phone units by 2017 as Apple will ship in 2012.

The estimates are contained in the report titled Smartphone markets: worldwide trends, forecasts and strategies 2012–2017. The document asserts that 11 million units of the Windows phone will ship in 2011. 136 million units will ship by 2017. Yet despite that gigantic number, Windows smartphones will account for only 9% of the world’s smartphone shipments by that time.

“Having a third significant OS player like Windows in the smartphone market would benefit mobile operators because it would reduce Apple’s and Google’s control over the market,” says Ronan de Renesse, author of the report. “It would also encourage subscribers to move from one OS to another, as well as improve operators’ negotiating position in smartphone retail.”