The Gartner Group has released it’s 2009 Mobile Market report. And not surprisingly, the iPhone came in with the largest percentage growth of any of the major mobile phone platforms. Apple’s increase is certainly due in part to the release of the iPhone in Europe on the O2 network. Interestingly enough, the worldwide leader in operating system penetration is still Symbian (this is the operating system used on Nokia’s phones). While Symbian saw a 5.5% decrease in market penetration for 2009, it was still the operating system on twice as many phones as it’s nearest competitor, RIM (Blackberry), who also saw a 3.3% increase.
Here Comes Google
Google’s Android system also saw a 3.4% increase, giving Apple something to watch other than Windows Mobile. This is probably why Microsoft is investing so much into it’s newest mobile phone OS, Windows Phone 7 Series, due out later this year. Apple has set the bar with the iPhone, and more importantly, with it’s AppStore. Consumers and business users alike can download thousands of apps for their iPhone. iPhone apps have revolutionized mobile computing, and everyone wants in. Google already has a growing developer network for Android apps. Microsoft has the Windows Marketplace for Mobile and hopes to expand it further after Phone 7 is released.
And what about the favorite phone for Business?
Let’s not count Blackberry out yet either. It has long reigned as the most popular phone for business users, with a huge worldwide installed base of corporate accounts with 1000’s of handsets distributed to employees. Blackberry has had tools available for network administrators to make managed all of these handsets a point-and-click affair, from anywhere in the world. Recently, Blackberry has seen what Apple has done with it’s AppStore, and have opened their own App World, which users can install on their phone to browse the fairly large selection of apps designed just for Blackberry users.
If Microsoft can ship their new Mobile OS before the end of the year, and we see a few more Android-based handsets come out (not to mention any possible iPhone improvements), 2010 is going to prove to be a very competitive year for the big mobile players. It will be interesting to see what consumers and business users will chose.