Windows Phone is set to take the number two spot from iOS rank in the smartphone operating system market by 2015, analyst firm IHS has predicted.

Though Microsoft's latest mobile OS has taken some time to make any kind of dent in the market, IHS believes that Microsoft's tie-up with Nokia will be key to the fortunes of both companies in the next few years and that Android handset makers, as well as Apple, need to watch out.

Nokia finds itself languishing in third place in the global smartphone manufacturer stakes behind Samsung and Apple, but the new Lumia handsets - particularly the Lumia 900 - will spark a resurgence for the Finnish company, while also providing a boost to the Windows Phone platform, says IHS.

By 2015, IHS projects, Windows Phone will take a 16.7 percent share of the smartphone market, up from the mere 2 percent it held in 2011.

Android will remain top dog in the mobile OS market growing its share from 47.4 percent last year to 58.1 percent in 2015. iOS' share will gradually decline for 18 percent to 16.6 percent in 2015, handing second place to Windows Phone.

"One of the hottest new products unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show was the Lumia 900, a Windows Phone-based smartphone sporting a flashy set of features that makes it competitive with the best alternatives offered by the Android camp," said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at IHS. 

"This hot product represents Nokia’s first step to reclaim its market share. 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."

The projections also paint a grim picture for RIM, which barely merits a mention in IHS' report. By 2015, the share of the market that non-Android, iOS or Windows Phone handsets will have will be a mere 8.6 percent, down from 32.7 percent last year.