Does it really come as a surprise to anyone to read about Samsung’s rise to power? The company utilizes the wildly popular freely distributed Android operating system, a platform that is has the Internet’s most powerful company as its foundation and some of the biggest names in mobile devices as part of its framework, and for its part Samsung has managed to produce its own brand of cutting edge products, the only ones to date to come close to rivalling Apple’s iPhone.
In regards to the latter, I had briefly mentioned in a post covering the company’s most recent quarterly earnings call the impending release of Samsung’s new Galaxy S III line-up of mobile devices, the next iteration of its incredibly success brand that will almost surely help firmly ensconce the company at the top of the mobile heap.
In fact, being Android’s only real success story, Samsung offers a rare glimpse into how I think Apple’s iPhone will eventually become unseated as North America’s favourite smartphone; a strategy that involves quicker innovation, bolder updates, and a willingness to explore product versatility that Apple simply doesn’t have.
Apple is stubborn to a fault, there’s really no getting around it. In fact, in my mind the company’s refusal to really depart from its regular modus operandi will, eventually, be the company’s downfall. To wit, I don’t think it’s really a stretch to call Apple the Nokia of the smartphone age.
For those who can’t remember a decade ago, Nokia was the market king when it came to cellphones and feature phones, employing a strategy of both low and high cost options that allowed for global market saturation. It was a strategy that paid immediate dividends but showed no long term vision, becoming all but obsolete at the advent of the smartphone and sending Nokia spiralling from the lofty heights of dominance.
Now consider Apple, a company so engorged by its own market crapulence, that it steadfastly maintains its glacial update strategy, confident that the masses will continue to flock to its latest handset whenever the company actually gets around to releasing; then, when the device is released, as is so often the case the technology is already bordering on the antiquated and obsolete.
It is exactly this point this Samsung, to its credit, has exploited to achieve its current spot atop the mobile revenue charts, demonstrating a willingness to pack as many new features into each new handset iteration and getting into the public’s waiting hands as quickly as possible.
To that end, the new Galaxy S III line-up of devices look to fill the insatiable consumer appetite for mobile upgrades, and this time it may actually hold consumer interest when the next iPhone comes along. The S III line-up will sport the new Android update Ice Cream Sandwich, a Siri-like voice assistant, and a technologically advanced eye scan feature, called Smart Stay, that scans the user’s eyes to determine what the phone is being used for and adjusts settings accordingly—for example, if you’re reading an eBook, the phone will automatically adjust the brightness—and that’s really only the tip of the iceberg.
As it stands, however, there no set release date for North American consumers, but one would guess that Samsung would look to get a jump on sales before Apple unveils its next behemoth. Regardless, it will be an interesting summer and fall season in the mobile world, as if the S III sees the strong sales I anticipate it will, we may actually see the first chink in Apple’s iPhone once indomitable armour.