Gartner has just released their analysis of global smartphone sales for the 3rd quarter of 2008, and it serves to confirm Apple’s rise in the industry and the consequent downfall of Microsoft.

Apple managed to snag 12.9% of the market in Q3 which was enough to exceed sales of Windows Mobile-powered mobile devices both globally and in North America. Nokia is still in the top spot with RIM at second place thanks to the 81.7% sales improvement this year. As a whole, the smartphone industry grew by 11.5%. It’s not the best performance in recent years, but considering the financial crisis being experienced all over the world, the modest increase in sales is still most welcome.

Now if this isn’t a clear indication that Microsoft has to shake things up as far as their Windows Mobile OS is concerned, I don’t know what it is.