Update: see this post for article correction
One thing about sales predictions, especially in this volatile market with heavy competition, is that they can come back to haunt you.
So in 19 months, as we near the end of 2011, Microsoft have better have sold something upwards of 30 million Windows Phone 7 devices. Otherwise, we'll never hear the end of it, especially from a certain Cupertino place. That 30 million number comes from the ReMix event in France during a presentation by IDC, a large technology forecasting company. (These are the same ReMix events going on around the world and where all this WP7 info is coming from as of late).
To put this into perspective, the iPhone has only sold 51+ million devices total in 3 years.
Now in fairness, currently about 14% of all cell users are smartphone owners and we keep expecting that number to explode in the next few years. Because smartphone owners are such a tiny minority today, we always laugh off these ideas that "the mobile OS war" is already over.
Ninja please, this is still just the beginning and it's anyone's game, even if the competition has a huge leg up. If we recall, Palm too once dominated this industry. Microsoft will also have the advantage of launching on all four US carriers at once, multiple device OEMs and of course launch world-wide. Assuming WP7 is a "hit", they could hit that number.
Still, we would have rather this "30 million" thing stay behind doors as this sort of thing pushes more interesting news out of the way, in place of juvenile OS fanboyism. And we're sure everyone will forget it was IDC and not Microsoft who made this claim.