Bad news, Apple: The iPhone’s market share is poised to take a tumble over the next few years. Between now and 2014, in fact, iOS devices will fall from 14.7 percent of phones sold to 10.9 percent, a 25.9 percent drop. Android phones, meanwhile, will boom, going from 16.3 percent market share to 24.6 percent, a 51.2 percent bump. RIM’s BlackBerry OS will dip slightly, from 17.9 percent to 17.3 percent; Windows Mobile will go from 6.8 percent to 9.8 percent. And even though handsets based on Nokia’s Symbian will fall from 40.1 percent share to 32.9 percent, they’ll still outsell every other mobile OS.
That, at least, is the truth as predicted by research firm IDC. The company has released those numbers as part of its sales forecasts for “converged mobile device operating systems.” They certainly sound plausible. But I’m struck by how precise these 2014 numbers are. IDC’s phone experts clearly think they can extrapolate a great deal from the current trajectories of major phone operating systems.