Microsoft’s Windows Phone sales are so small right now that the company doesn’t feel compelled to report them as part of its quarterly financial results. But a new report from IHS iSuppli predicts that Microsoft will take the No. 2 slot in smartphone market share in 2015, edging out longtime rival Apple and its iPhone.

Nokia Lumia 900 at CES

It’s not the first time an analyst has made this type of prediction. Both Gartner and IDC have made similar projections in the past.

But the optimism from iSuppli is notable because it’s based on recent developments — particularly Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia.

“Combined with Nokia’s efforts to drive the development of the Windows Phone ecosystem, the Lumia 900 and its successors will help Microsoft to reclaim its No. 2 ranking in smartphone operating system market share in 2015,” said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at IHS iSuppli, in a news release issued by the firm.

[Follow-up: iSuppli’s 2009 Windows Mobile prediction shows just how wrong predictions can be. (Thanks to Steven Noyes for pointing this out in the comments below.]

One way that Microsoft and Nokia can gain market share is through a discount strategy. As reported earlier this week, Costco and Walmart are selling the Lumia 710 Windows Phone for 1 cent and nothing, respectively, with qualifying two-year contracts.

But iSuppli is particularly enamored with the higher-end Nokia Lumia 900, which was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show last week. The research firm cites the Lumia 900’s “flashy feature set” along with Nokia’s North American marketing strategy.

“The introduction of the Lumia 900 shows that Nokia believes the road back to smartphone dominance runs through North America,” said Francis Sideco, senior principal analyst for consumer and communications at IHS. “And the way to win North America is through its operator channels.”

Previously on GeekWire: Nokia Lumia 900, two early hands-on observations

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  • Nathan Ottenson

    Awesome.  I love my WindowsPhone but I would love to get my hands on the 900

  • Guest

    IHS took a pretty big bong hit before making this estimate.  MS still can’t talk #’s when it comes to WP7 sales, so the notion that they’ll go from 1-ish percent to 10x that is unlikely at best.  

    According to this WP7 would have to go from where it is now (1-2%) to almost 10% in a year.  Not gonna happen.  

    Best case (and I do mean best) “other” get’s split evenly 3 ways on it’s way to the bottom, which puts MS at maybe 5% by end of CY and 8-9% by 2015.  But even that is pretty unlikely.  The notion that WPx and Android would split “Other” and iOS would take none of that is laughable.

  • Guest

    Wow! Congratulations to Microsoft on this bold study. This could be huge.

  • DoNotReply

    “One way that Microsoft and Nokia can gain market share is through as discount strategy.”

    Not by making a better phone, but by discounting…  sheesh.

  • Chris Lynch

    Every time I see reports like this, I chuckle to myself and wonder: what would analyst reports have looked like in 2006?

    • Steven Noyes

      This is from iSuppli in 2009:

      “In 2013, 67.9 million smart phones will use the Windows Mobile operating system, up from 27.7 million in 2009. This will give Windows Mobile a 15.3 percent share of the global market in 2013, second only to the Symbian operating system, which will control 47.6 percent.”
      “Meanwhile, Windows Mobile recently gained another key licensee: LG, the world’s No-3 mobile-phone OEM. LG has pledged to produce 50 Windows Mobile handset models. Even after the loss of Palm and Motorola, Windows Mobile still boasts the largest number of OEM licensees among all smart-phone operating systems, at 14. Symbian is in second place, at 10.”

      Even with the iPhone in the #2 spot at the time and Android just getting started, this company was clueless on where the market was going.  I laughed when I read this 2.5 years back.

  • MJ4Ev3r

    HAHA..Google and Microsoft PR doing their dastardly deed once again…and every fandroid and PC cheapos believed it…LOL!

  • Steven Noyes

    It must be sad to already be wrong with them showing a slight decline for the iPhone where all current data reports a very strong growth for the iPhone in the last quarter of 2011.

    Sad.  Just sad.

  • Anonymous

    The Windows Phone naysayers are discounting one important fact: Windows Phone is not Windows Mobile. 

    This time Microsoft has a terrific product.  Once consumers are introduced to Windows Phone they tend to really like it, which is one reason why the top-rated Smartphones on are Windows Phone devices.

    I strongly suspect that the reasons the platform has yet to take off are things that Microsoft and Nokia can fix. However, mocking Microsoft’s efforts in mobile may still be good for a cheap laugh among last year’s hipsters, so enjoy it while it lasts.  :-)

  • Steve Blackwell

    The only OS that the Windows Phone would hurt is Android.  You will see many current Android owners jumping ship to Windows Phone but based upon loyalty stats, Apple brand loyalty is up in the low ninety percent range; Android fifty something.   This will only increase apple’s IOS market share at Android’s expense.  All hypothetical though as I don’t see Windows Phone going anywhere.  

  • Alec Spyrou

    Folks, it’s all way to soon to say. We know that it takes a couple of years to get momentum and the first year was very poorly supported by the sales channels and the hardware providers. With those issues no smart phone product would have good sales. Lets wait for the first two quarters of this year. As long as all the ingredients are right a product will sell. IMHO
    Product (good)
    Marketing (hmmm)
    Sales channels (now they have incentives so we will see)
    Applications (getting there)
    Developer eco system (getting there)

    Will they succeed? Lets wait and see and stop all this yawn fest crystal ball gazing, I am over it already.

  • Lvcien

    Here’s what I supply: Bullshit lol

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