Canadian mobile handset manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) has surpassed Windows Mobile in terms of market penetration for the first time, though Nokia and Symbian are still streaking ahead.

The success of RIM's BlackBerry handsets has meant triple digit growth year on year for the Canadians, where Microsoft's OS has slipped, despite growing over 20 per cent in the last year, according to Gartner Research.

However, Nokia and Symbian have kept the lead in terms of smartphone OS market share, with over 50 per cent of the advanced handsets using the system.

iPhone share drops

Apple didn't figure in the figures, as its sales of the first generation iPhone dropped to make way for the updated 3G model. With sales for this device almost quadrupling it's likely the next year will see some real Apple growth in the smartphone market.

Linux for mobiles dropped this year, though the emergence of the Google-backed Android is likely to change that drastically in the next three to four years, where it's likely to attack Symbian's lead significantly.

However, hope is not lost for all you Windows Mobile lovers out there (apparently there are some). Samsung's flagship Omnia device is set to use WM 6.1, as is Sony Ericsson's Xperia X1, so the OS war looks set to stay feisty for some while yet.

If that kind of thing excites you that is...