Canalys latest review of smartphone sales shows beyond all doubt that the mobile space has changed forever. The three big players, up until very recently anyway, were Symbian, Windows Mobile and Palm. All three will view the sales figures for Q3 with some concern.
Microsoft will have very mixed feelings. The company's market share and shipments both improved when compared to last year's figures, yet its position slipped from second to fourth as both RIM and Apple surpassed Microsoft's licensees shipments.
Palm no longer even merit a breakout from the other group, however if we remove Motorola and HTC sales from the Windows Mobile total, and credit Palm with everything in the other column that still leaves the company well shy of its former glories, possibly around 1.4million devices.
Nokia holds the same position as Palm did a few years back - well on top, but under serious pressure. In a market that's booming Symbian shipped fewer devices than this time last year and saw its share drop by 22%. That's a worrying trend for Nokia which I can't see them easily reversing. Symbian has been able to claim pole position in the smartphone market on the basis of sales which I don't really see as being smartphone sales - Series 60 appears on phones that don't really count, but are counted. As customer awareness of smartphones improves I think these stealth sales will fall off and Nokia's dominance of the market will end.
Of course much of the change in the last quarter has been a result of new activity in the smartphone arena. Apple's iPhone 3G, RIM's change of focus to the consumer and prosumer market and of course the arrival of Android on the T1. With the next set of results due after the Christmas holiday season it will be interesting to see how things change then.