The global smartphone market last year grew around 24% last year, and virtually all the smartphone platforms saw increased sales. The notable exception was Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, which dropped below Apple’s iPhone OS for the first time, according to data from the market research firm Gartner.
The Symbian OS continued its long-running dominance of the world market for advanced mobile phones, but its hold is slipping. In 2008, 52.4% of all smartphones shipping with this operating system, but last year that decreased to 46.9%.
In second place was Research in Motion — the BlackBerry maker saw its marketshare increase from 16.6% in 2008 to 19.9% in 2009.
For the first time, Apple was in third place, thanks to a strong increase in sales. It had 14.4% of the global market last year, up from 8.2 in the previous year.
Windows Mobile dropped to fourth place, and it experienced an actual decline in sales. Microsoft’s share of the smartphone market went from 11.8% to 8.7% between 2008 and 2009.
Sales of Linux-based phones in China typically push this operating system ahead of some other contenders, and last year was no different. However, this platform’s 4.7% of the world market was a significant drop from the previous year.
Google’s Android OS saw year-over-year growth, not surprising since the first device based on this platform debuted at the very end of 2008. For 2009, it was on 3.9% of smartphones.
In seventh place was Palm’s webOS, which launch in the middle of 2009. In the 7 months it was on the market, it garnered a 0.7% share.