The number of smartphones running Microsoft's Windows Phone platform will overtake Apple iPhones in 2015, says IHS Suppli.

According to the market research firm, last year Windows Phone OS appeared on just 1.9 percent of all smartphones shipped. However, by 2015 this will have surged to 16.7 percent beating Apple's iOS, which is expected to run on 16.6 percent of the world's smartphones, into second place. However, Google's Android operating system will retain its top spot rising from 47.4 percent on handsets currently to 58.1 in 2015.

"Windows Phone is set to regain the number 2 rank in the smartphone operating system in 2015," the firm said.

Furthermore, his believes the surge in popularity of Windows Phones will help Nokia renew its position in the smartphone market. Once considered the global leader in smartphone manufacturering, by Q2 of last year it had slipped to third place behind Apple and Samsung when it comes to global shipments.

"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 number two ranking in smartphone operating system market share in 2015."

IHS iSuppli predicts Nokia will account for 50 percent of all Microsoft OS-based handsets sold in 2012. This will rise to 62 percent next year but then begin to decline in 2014 as other companies increase their sales of Windows Phone products.

Nonetheless, the firm believes Nokia will drive the development and expansion of the Windows Phone market, opening up opportunities for other players.

"Because of Nokia's support, apps developers will eagerly shore up the Windows platform. This will cause other makers of Windows Phone devices, such as Samsung and HTC, to offer more products supporting the OS - further expanding the market."