by Al Sacco

Happy Holidays from the Mobile WorkHorse!

Dec 19, 20083 mins

As’s New England office slowly empties out for the holidays—and we batten down the hatches in preparation for an impending nor’easter—I wanted to take a moment to wish each and every one of you a safe and merry holiday season.

RIM BlackBerry 8310 hanging from Christmas tree

2008 was a momentous year for the Mobile WorkHorse—this year was, in fact, Mobile WorkHorse’s first; I started writing the blog on January 3, 2008 and haven’t looked back since.

And as you very likely know, I focus on smartphones in this blog—particularly the BlackBerry. While the Chinese Calendar tells us that 2008 was the year of the rat, or Wu Zi, I’d have to argue that this year was also the year of the smartphone. (Read “Smartphones of ’08: The Hottest Handsets of the Year” for my picks on the best devices of the 2008.)

I could fill pages and pages with reasons why the year was so significant, but here are few of the most notable happenings:

  • A record high 39.9 million smartphones were shipped globally in the July 2008 through September 2008 period, up 28 percent over the same time last year, according to Canalys. Smartphones now represent 13 percent of the total mobile handset market, up from 11 percent in the second quarter of the year, the research firm says.

  • Apple took the number one U.S. smartphones vendor title from RIM—and the number two global spot

  • Google/T-Mobile unveiled the first Android-powered smartphone, the G1

  • Research In Motion (RIM) released its first touch screen BlackBerry, the Storm, as well as the first clamshell BlackBerry, the Pearl 8220 Flip

  • One time smartphone leader Palm attempted to make a comeback with the consumer-oriented Centro and business-friendly Treo Pro, yet still saw poor financial performance and ended up cutting 200 jobs.

To say that 2008 was one hell of a ride would be an understatement. I feel lucky to have been a part of it—and to have been able to share my thoughts and observations with so many intelligent and passionate readers.

Finally, I just want to express my heartfelt thanks to you all for spending a few minutes a day/week/month/whatever with me and the Mobile WorkHorse. Your loyal readership is genuinely appreciated, and I promise to continue covering the BlackBerry/smartphone space in 2009 with more intensity and zeal than ever before.

Happy Holidays, folks.

(Note: This is the first and last time that an exclamation point has been or will be used in the headline of a Mobile WorkHorse blog post. You have my word on that.)