Apple Takes Over Microsoft In Smartphone Shares

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Apple has taken over Microsoft Windows Mobile and now has the third largest market share of global smartphone OS sales. Symbian OS still leads with a 46.9 per cent share and is closely followed by Research In Motion with 19.9 per cent, according to a report released by Gartner.

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Mobile Sales Chart, courtesy of Garner

Nokia still leads in mobile handset shipments with 36.4 per cent, followed by Samsung (19.5 per cent), LG (10.1 per cent), Motorola (4.8 per cent), and Sony Ericsson (4.5 per cent). However, Gartner says that the top five vendors continued to lose market share to Apple and other vendors, with their combined share dropping from 79.7 in 2008 to 75.3 per cent in 2009.

In the smartphone OS market, Symbian continued its lead (46.9 per cent), but its share dropped 5.4 percentage points in 2009. Competitive pressure from its competitors, such as RIM and Apple, and the continued weakness of Nokia’s high-end device sales have negatively impacted Symbian’s share, says Garner.

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Smartphone Shares

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.

Carolina Milanesi, Research Director at Gartner, expects 2010 to be a strong year for strong mobile phone sales.

“Looking back at the announcements during Mobile World Congress 2010, we can expect 2010 to retain a strong focus around operating systems, services and applications while hardware takes a back seat. Sales will return to low-double-digit growth, but competition will continue to put a strain on vendors’ margins,” said Ms Milanesi.

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