At the top of their game, Apple, Google, HTC and Samsung will be pushing forward in their various ways. A resurgent Nokia will also strengthen their market position.
On the other side, Sony Ericsson seems to have lost confidence and, unlike Nokia, have no apparent strategy for pulling themselves up.
There is an ongoing rumour of a split between Sony and Ericsson, but both companies would be weakened with the potential demise of both as handset manufacturers. The market doesn't need another Benq-Siemens fiasco.
Motorola appear even more vulnerable. Their smartphone strategy is in tatters with the loss of UIQ, and Android based handsets not expected until mid 2009.
They also have a less than stellar range of feature phones that are uncompetitive against those from Samsung, LG and Sony Ericsson. Motorola seems to be in a terminal decline having laid off many core staff and lacking support from the European networks.
For similar reasons, Palm appear to be reaching the end of the road. Their Treo Pro looks too much like HTC's network branded handsets. With Android effectively taking the place of the Palm OS, it unfortunately seems that 2009 may be another unhappy year for Palm's employees.
With Nokia being so quiet and the recession sadly starting to bite, at least Apple and Google have cheered us up this year. Though 2009 will be very difficult, we can look forward to many more interesting new handsets and services arising from all the behind the scenes work in 2008.