Is the power in the smartphone market beginning to shift?
This may well be case after Microsoft admitted late last week that it had missed its annual sales target for Windows Mobile shipments by a rather substantial 10 per cent.
For the fiscal year ended 30 June, 18 million Windows Mobile licenses were shifted - some way down on the 20 million plus goal the Redmond based company believed was a realistic achievement. By contrast Canada's RIM moved an impressive 14 million BlackBerrys exceeding expectations and setting a remarkable standard for a company which produces all its own handsets in comparatively few models.
As for that other new player in the business space, Apple, it expects to sell 10 million iPhones by the end of 2008 - 18 months since the original handset launched and a stunning figure considering the company only offers a single, network locked, ultra high end device which - until recently - was only available in a limited number of countries. Still, with one million iPhone 3Gs sold in its opening weekend (and surely many more had stock not been so limited) who would bet against the 10 million being met and then some?
And what of Android? The first phones based on Google's open source OS will hit before the end of the year - a close bond with Symbian has been rumoured - and former Windows Mobile stalwart HTC will be leading the charge.
Ultimately then, while it is already said Microsoft desperately needs an impressive showing from Vista successor Windows 7 in the PC space - the growth of the mobile market suggests the success of Windows Mobile 7 could be equally defining...