Like everything covering the world by the millions and constantly changing shape, mobile phones are evolving. And the smaller, smarter species have taken over from the clumsy giants of yesteryear. Once upon a time Motorola ruled over a world of giant bricks. Then, Nokia dominated a dumbphone world, a rich carpet of thousands of different charging cables foresting the floor near electrical outlets, blowing away the ancient voiceboxes with texts and LCD screens and lots of other things which we swear sounded modern back then. But in 2012 it’s the time of the smartphone, and Samsung have finally wrestled the crown away from the Finnish giant.
Research firm Strategy Analytics reports that the South Korean company shipped a record-breaking 93 million phones in the first quarter of 2012, beating Nokia by ten million units , thanks mainly to its Galaxy models. The smartphone race has devolved into a battle between Apple’s all-or-nothing iPhones and the open-source of Android. And in what’s either a deeper truth or a total parody, Samsung utterly dominates open-source. The Samsung Galaxy has become the iPhone-alternative, with everyone from HTC to Windows Phone scrambling to catch up.
Whether you choose Samsung or not, it’ll help you get a better phone. A focal point for the not-an-iPhone option brings big brand pressure against Apple, and that’s normally its main weapon, so it’ll have to make sure its yearly iterations do more than add a new number to the phone and hundreds of pounds to the price. And Samsung are still fighting against an army of other Androids, which is the plot of several science-fiction movies and a great way to drive innovation.
Samsung also enjoy a counter to the hardcore Apple fanbase. Dedicated open-sourcers will always ‘root’ their phones to rewrite the software, and while that might annoy the networks who’ve installed all sorts of official limitations, we mustn’t forget that it still equates to the exact same number of sales for Samsung, regardless of what people do to their devices. In fact, this possibly results in even more sales, as unofficial experimentation always runs the risk of wrecking a handset – meaning another sale, and more software for everyone to use on the road to better performance.