Apple sold 24.89 million iPhones in 2009, compared to 15 million Windows Mobile phones. That gives Apple an edge over Microsoft, which now holds just 8.7% of the smartphone market. Behind Microsoft came Linux with 4.7% of the market. Android ranked sixth with 6.8 million handsets sold and 3.9% of the smartphone market.
Apple, Microsoft, Linux and Android's numbers all look anemic when compared to Nokia's performance, but there's a big caveat here. Gartner writes, "The two best performers in 2009 were Android and Apple. Android increased its market share by 3.5 percentage points in 2009, while Apple's share grew by 6.2 percentage points from 2008, which helped it move to the No. 3 position and displace Microsoft Windows Mobile."
During the same period, Nokia lost 5.5 percentage point and Microsoft lost 3.1 percentage points. The bottom line? Apple, RIM and Android all ate into the market share of Nokia and Microsoft. Can either Nokia or Microsoft reverse this trend? Can Symbian^3 compete with iPhone or Android OS? Is Microsoft's recently announced Windows Phone 7 Series enough to turn market around?
"Symbian had become uncompetitive in recent years, but its market share, particularly on Nokia devices, is still strong. If Symbian can use this momentum, it could return to positive growth," said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner in a prepared statement.