Around 1.2 billion phones were sold last year, 174 million of which were smartphones. Symbian devices count for nearly 47 per cent of this market (with Nokia making up the majority of this figure), but they're losing market share to both Apple and Research in Motion (RIM), the company behind Blackberry, which now have 14.4 per cent and 19.9 per cent respectively.
The fastest growing markets last year were Apple and Android, which grew by 6.2 per cent and 3.5 per cent respectively.
Smartphones enable consumers to download apps, and now there are app stores everywhere, courtesy of device manufacturers (eg Nokia's Ovi Store); OS developers (Android Market Place; Windows Marketplace for Mobile); operators (Vodafone's 360 Store; Orange's Application Shop) and Independents (GetJar; Handango). All are competing fiercely for eyeballs, clicks and sales.
At the moment, the Apple App Store is the undisputed champion; in January, it announced that three billion apps had been downloaded over the last 18 months. Others are catching up, though, with Nokia now proclaiming that it has broken the 1.5million app sales per day mark as of March.
The UK mobile scene According to the AdMob report on smartphone usage trends for January, 75 per cent of requests came from a combination of the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch. The next most popular were Nokia and HTC on 4.8 per cent and 4.7 per cent respectively.
With Apple firmly set with the top two handset models, it's left to HTC's Hero and Dream and Nokia's N95 to complete the top five UK smartphone handsets….Read more.