Microsoft certainly has high hopes for the Windows Phone OS. Less than a day after the first Windows Phone device started selling in China, the HTC Eternity, Microsoft predicts it will pass the iPhone and Android in market share in China over the next few years.
Simon Leung, CEO of Microsoft for the Greater China region, says the company has this listed as an “interim goal.” It’s banking on low-end devices to surge in China, a market in which cheap products tend to prevail. While a 16GB iPhone 4S goes for 4,988 yuan, Leung wants Windows Phone handsets to stay within the 1,000-yuan range and is confident vendors will be able to do so.
Microsoft appears to have the right strategy for building up success in China. As popular as the iPhone may be in America, market share actually fell in China last quarter due to its premium price.
IDC analyst from Beijing, Teck-Zhung Wong, forecasts that Windows Phone will capture 7.5 percent of the smartphone market in 2012. He expects iOS to claim 12 percent and Android to dominate with 70 percent. “The Windows Phone ramp-up in China won’t really begin until the second quarter, so the numbers are still low,” he said. “From next year the ramp-up will be more rapid. Windows Phone will have a lot of equipment manufacturing partners and more device choice at more different price points.” By 2016, Wong believes Windows Phone will leap ahead with 20 percent market share as opposed to 16 percent from iOS and a declining 60 percent from Android.