Android’s biggest competition moving forward could come from Microsoft’s Windows Phone, as the company focuses on capturing more of the smartphone market.
More than 40 percent of smartphone owners, and those who intend to buy one, are considering purchasing a Windows Phone 7 device, according to a report from Connected Intelligence.
In contrast, though, the report also says that 50 percent of consumers who plan on purchasing a smartphone in the next six months say they’re not interested in Windows phones because they “don’t know enough about it.”
The number of people interested in a Windows Phone indicates Microsoft’s platform may be enough to rival Google’ Android, but the company just needs to spread the word. Android is in the best position in the mobile market right now, according to the report, but Microsoft may be the company poised to experience the most growth moving forward.
However, despite analysts’ predictions about the future, Android’s main competition in the smartphone market has come from the iPhone. The iPhone 4 and 3GS are the top selling phones in the U.S., but Android has kept a lead over iOS in overall market share because it is offered on a wide range of devices at many different price points. Android currently holds 43 percent of the smartphone market while iOS trails with 18 percent.
Microsoft trails Android and Apple by a wide margin, currently holding just two percent of the smartphone market, but its partnership with Nokia may help the company gain a foothold in the overseas market. Meanwhile, in the U.S., top-flight manufacturers such as HTC and Samsung have shown support for the Windows Phone platform by offering devices through AT&T.
Manufacturers’ support for Windows Phone may grow even more now thanks to Google’s pending purchase of Motorola. The $12.5 billion purchase may lead Android phone makers like LG, HTC and Samsung to develop devices for Microsoft, fearing Google, once a software partner with Android, will become a hardware rival.
Analysts groups Gartner and IDC’s research projects Microsoft may challenge Google for the smartphone crown by 2015. If Windows Phone can turn these predictions into a reality, the smartphone market may become a three-way battle between Apple, Google and Microsoft.