A recent survey conducted by Gartner has found that Apple's iPhone OS was the world's third most popular smartphone operating system in 2009.
Indeed, Apple's share grew by 6.2 percentage points in 2009, which helped the popular device move to the No. 3 position and displace Microsoft Windows Mobile-powered devices.
Meanwhile, Android managed to increase its rapidly growing market share by a respectable 3.5 percentage points.
"Android's success experienced in the fourth quarter of 2009 should continue into 2010 as more manufacturers launch Android products, but some CSPs and manufacturers have expressed growing concern about Google's intentions in the mobile market," explained Gartner researcher Roberta Cozza.
"[However], if such concerns cause manufacturers to change their product strategies or CSPs to change which devices they stock, this might hinder Android's growth in 2010."
Cozza added that Symbian "continued its lead" in the smartphone OS market, although the company's share dropped a notable 5.4 percentage points in 2009.
"Competitive pressure from its competitors, such as RIM and Apple, and the continued weakness of Nokia's high-end device sales have negatively impacted Symbian's share.
"At the Mobile World Congress 2010, Symbian Foundation announced its first release since Symbian became fully open source. Symbian3 should be made available by the end of the first quarter of 2010 and may reach the first devices by the third quarter of 2010, while Symbian4 should be released by the end of 2010."
Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 2009 (Thousands of Units)
Research In Motion
Microsoft Windows Mobile
Source: Gartner (February 2010)