More smartphones are using Apple’s OS X operating system than Windows Mobile, a researcher said Thursday. Apple’s software now has 12.9 percent of the global smartphone market, pushing Microsoft out of No. 3 behind RIM and handset giant Nokia.
OS X-based smartphones – fueled by Apple’s popular iPhone – saw a 327 percent year-over-year increase, rising from 3.4 percent of the market in the third quarter of 2007. The increase far outstripped the 11.5 percent annual increase in the overall smartphone market, according to Gartner.
By contrast, Microsoft’s marketshare fell 3 percent to 11.1 percent.
“For the first time, iPhone sales exceeded sales of Microsoft Windows Mobile devices worldwide and in North America,” the research firm announced.
Another first: Symbian-based handsets fell below 50 percent of world sales to 49.8 percent of marketshare.
In what Gartner called a year for the weakest recorded sales growth for handsets, leader Nokia lost 3.1 percent of its No. 1 spot as No. 2 RIM and No. 3 Apple posted strong growth.
“Nokia is feeling the pressure from increased competition in the consumer smartphone market,” Gartner analyst Roberta Cozza said in a statement.
Cozza said the large handset maker first avoided the growing demand for touchscreen interfaces and now won’t be able to ship its new N97 until the first half of 2009.
Affirming the prediction of a slowing handset market, Nokia Thursday said it expects a five percent drop in handsets sold in 2009.