Windows Mobile devices are now getting hammered by the new 3G iPhone from Apple according to the latest research from Gartner. 2008 third quarter sales data reveal that the Apple’s Mac OS X smartphone exceeded sales of Microsoft Windows Mobile devices worldwide.

In the shorter term, open-source initiatives like Android and Symbian Foundation are expected to challenge Windows Mobile’s licensing model. Gartner says lack of a competitive user interface will continue to limit Microsoft’s mobile device appeal.

More: “In 2009, application portfolios will become one of the key strategic considerations for smartphone market players and, if successful, they deliver an alternative revenue stream and will improve consumer stickiness,”
Gartner says, in apparent reference to Apple’s popular App Store.

Nokia’s Symbian OS saw its global market share drop from 63 percent to 49.8 percent, as RIM’s Blackberry and Apple’s iPhone recorded major gains. RIM went from 9.4 to 15.9pc, Apple from 3.4 to 12.9pc.

In unit sales terms, RIM sold 5.8 million Blackberries, up 81.7pc, while Apple sales soared 327pc to 4.7 million.

Analyst Roberta Cozza noted that Nokia had experienced a decline in smartphone sales for the first time. “Its lack of a commercial touchscreen device in its smartphone portfolio prevented Nokia from capitalising from consumer demand for this feature. The recently announced N97 (CDN, Dec. 3) is a much needed evolution for the N9x series of products. It is unfortunate that the device will not be available before the first half of 2009.”

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