Without doubt the launch of the iPhone 3G, with the 2.1 software, has completely changed the market. As mentioned earlier, the original iPhone was a popular niche product, but the iPhone 3G is a revelation in design and third party application support through the AppStore (not withstanding my other criticisms!).
Google's Android OS rattled the market with the launch of T-Mobile's G1 handset yet suffered under the glare of the iPhone 3G. Android shows great promise, though it will take a year or two to settle in as a main stream alternative to Symbian and Apple.
At the lower end of the market there has been wave after wave of new handset introductions all seemingly aimed at giving users the best feature set at the cheapest price. For me though the best low end handsets both come from 3, the Skype Phone 2 and the INQ1.
Fantastically well priced yet offering a feature set targeted at young & web savvy customers, these two handsets give users exactly what they need, easy to access Web 2 applications where ever they want to use them.
Facebook, LastFM, Skype, broadband modem, all at their finger tips. Simply brilliant.
A mobile browser war seems to have developed in 2008. With Microsoft's Mobile Explorer seeming moribund, Opera is now shipping as the true face of the internet for Windows Mobile based handsets.
Though coming from opposing sides are Skyfire and Iris. Though both are in Beta they seem to be worthy competitors to Nokia's and Microsoft's efforts.
It's also been impressive watching Nokia concentration on developing a market dominating consumer portal. Not only has Nokia overpowered the objections of most major networks with (poorly) competing services, they have also become the teenagers' friend with the launch of "Comes With Music", the all you can consume music portal.
Though it's not only media consumption. producing content, especially live video broadcasting through Qik, Livecast and others has turned many people into on the spot journalists especially in yet another troubled year.