Symbian's latest market share graph is, as usual, encouraging for the mobile operating system vendor. But the Apple segment is a shock.

This graph, taken from CEO Nigel Clifford's news conference, is the latest in a series which have sharted Symbian's performance round the world in the smartphone market. The orange is Symbian, and each column is a different region - with the widths calibrated so the areas are proportional to the number of phones sold.

We start with Europe on the left, solidly Symbian, but with small slices of everything else. Then we have Japan - huge sales for the number of people there, and a lot of Linux (pink). China is similar - but notice the China bar is still only half the width of the Japan one, despite the huge number of people there.

Smbian share

In both China and Japan, there's a lot of Linux - although the share is decreasing says Clifford. And that pink bar ought to be chopped up into smaller pieces because of the number of Linux operating systems.

But look at the US (next column). The purple section is iPhone - a new and sizeable entry, which has made the overall width of the US smartphone bar much bigger. Previously it's been a tiny notch in the whole world picture. RIM and Palm also have large shares.

In the US, Symbian's orange strip is still very very narrow but Clifford looks on the bright side. Apparently it's not getting narrower, so Symbian is profiting in some way from the growth in US smartphones driven by Apple.