It's got similarities to the desktop market, but huge differences too.
I agree with quite a few of the posters here, the world has changed enormously since the days when Motorola, Nokia and Ericsson/Sony-Ericsson ruled the mobile phone market. Those companies essentially sold 'feature phones' which were just consumer electronics much like digital cameras or MP3 players. They competed with each other on specs and user experience, but they didn't create complicated ecosystems like Apple and Google have done.
I realise that Nokia understood the concept of an app ecosystem and it tried with Ovi, but it never really got the software just right. Symbian was too clunky as a platform and the UI was pretty bad and then they seemed to lose their direction with Maemo and Meego which showed a lot of promise but sadly never went anywhere.
I think what you're seeing now really is Google taking the position that was occupied by Microsoft in the desktop market and Microsoft possibly going to become a bit more like IBM (i.e. infrastructure, servers, background technologies rather than consumer-focused).
I also think that it's a little naive to compare Apple with other handset manufacturers on a like-for-like basis. All of the other companies are essentially OEMs for Google at this stage and Microsoft-Nokia is struggling to gain market share due to eco-system lock in and an unfamiliar UI.
I think for the likes of Samsung, but more so for HTC, Sony and others they face some very serious challenges as they will not be able to differentiate themselves from other emerging OEMs, particularly the likes of Huawei and others from China.
While I'd single out HTC Sense as quite slick, most of the other OEMs' attempts at customising Android have produced user experiences that fall far short of stock Android and I think what you're going to see over the next few years is people seeking out non-modified Android because Google provides a better UI and also because of a history of poor update support from OEMs and carriers. That's going further weaken the position of the likes of Samsung, HTC, Sony etc and ultimately they will simply be reduced to the role of today's PC and laptop makers i.e. pushing hardware that essentially runs someone else's software and app ecosystem.
Apple is in a very strong position and comparing like-for-like hardware sales really doesn't make any sense. It owns pretty much every aspect of the iPhone, iPad, iPod ecosystem and it gets cut of every App Store sale and has enormous customer loyalty. I think provided Apple maintains a big enough user base, it will just continue to make a hell of a lot of money.
With regard to Microsoft-Nokia, the problem is that they need to actually convince people to move to a different ecosystem. That's not just consumers, but also developers. The majority of app developers still concentrate almost exclusively on iOS and Android. Microsoft's mobile platform is interesting, but it doesn't have the user base to generate enough sales to make it worthwhile for an App developer to spend a lot of time and resources coding for it.
Lack of a very wide variety of apps means that people won't jump ship from Android and iOS.
It's a catch 22 for Microsoft as you need to get the customers on board to get the developers on board and you need to get the developers on board to get the customers on board.
I think basically Microsoft's joined the party far too late. If they'd been in this position in 2007, they'd have taken a big chunk of the market, in 2014, they're nearly a decade too late. The app ecosystems are fully established and people are too heavily invested to jump ship.
I'd also add that I think Microsoft's well known name, but it's a weak consumer brand. It never really pushed its own name as a consumer brand and instead fragmented itself into Xbox, Windows, Office, Hotmail, Windows Mail etc and also that attempt at a media player : Zune.
Microsoft's only potential hope is to get into the mobile device sector thorough a migration from laptops to tablets. Although, that doesn't even seem to be going all that well with a huge dominance by Apple and Google despite Windows 8's best efforts.
So, I'm not really sure what's going to happen. Microsoft could end up very much like IBM, big but in the background.