Will Windows Phone overtake iOS in 2016?

I am always curious how some analysts make their predictions. Magic 8 Ball?

I am definitely not going to say they're wrong, but it is difficult to believe that Windows Phone will actually gain as much market share as they claim. Windows 8 has the potential to combine the laptop and tablet worlds, and some of the early designs actually look appealing. At the same time, critics are pointing out that Microsoft is making too many compromises on the traditional interface in order to make Windows 8 a tablet operating system (OS). If Windows fails to be more than just a mobile-centric OS, I doubt many people will switch from their current mobile OS.

On the Google front, Android phones seem to be doing well, but Google hasn't made as much headway against the iPad as they would like. The Android-based Kindle Fire did really well, but cut Google out of the profit loop by linking to Amazon's store and not Google Play. Additionally, the Fire used Android 2.3 rather than the tablet-centric Honeycomb, and lacked several other features that are found in many other tablets (camera, microphone, bluetooth, GPS, video out, accelerometer, gyroscope, light sensor). It would seem that Google is looking to get personally involved with Android's success in tablets with the rumoured launch of the $199 to $249 7-inch Nexus Tablet with Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean).

Not to be out-rumoured, there are claims that Apple is looking to shake things up with iOS devices this year. There have been various photos of the supposed iPhone 5 with a larger screen, and rumours of a new iPad with a smaller screen.

Chances are you will want your phone and tablet running from the same "store". No one really wants to buy an app multiple times. A strong tablet launch by any of these players could really change the market share of the phones as well.

As for RIM in 2016, well... Recall that in the late 90's there were many people predicting the demise of Apple. Will RIM be like Apple, or more like Palm?

I guess all I'm saying is that there is no way I'd want to it to be my job to be trying to predict which phone/tablet OS is going to be on top in four years.

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