New research has found mobile phone firms are continuing to lose ground to Apple in the mobile phone space.

According to Gartner, while Nokia is still the biggest handset maker in the world, it, like others, has lost further market share in 2009.

But Nokia isn't the only manufacturer to lose ground in 2009. Motorola, Sony Ericsson and LG all lost market share to their competitors following the lack of a "hero" product, while Samsung seems to be the biggest winner gaining 3% following strong performances from sales of handsets like the i8910.

The figures released also showed the battle of owning a smartphone OS even more clearly with Symbian mirroring Nokia's slip in market share. It has dropped 5.5%, while Microsoft's Windows Mobile OS dropped 3.1% compared to 2008 figures.

As expected the winners, according to Gartner, are Android and the iPhone who both saw healthy gains in 2009:

"The two best performers in 2009 were Android and Apple. Android increased its market share by 3.5 percentage points in 2009, while Apple's share grew by 6.2 percentage points from 2008, which helped it move to the No. 3 position and displace Microsoft Windows Mobile," says Gartner.

The battle continues.