Monday, February 11, 2013

Samsung Galaxy, the Preferred Brand

Samsung ‘Galaxy’ has become a more popular search term than Android for web users searching for information about Android-powered smartphones, highlighting many handset makers’ fears that Samsung is becoming bigger than the other Android manufacturers. The smartphone market is steadily becoming a two-handset, rather than an operating systems, race.

A Benedict Evans study that plots the popularity of Android-related search terms over a period of years confirmed the above finding.

Brand awareness is one thing, sales are another, and according to data from mobile analytics firm, Localytics published on Thursday, eight of the top 10 Android devices currently in use are Samsung smartphones and tablets. The Galaxy SIII accounts for 9.2 percent of the market on its own, making it the most popular Android handset, and the Galaxy SII is the second most popular, with an 8.2 percent share of the global market. In all, Samsung commands a 47 percent share of the world’s Android market.

Further evidence of Samsung's growing dominance comes from research released on Wednesday by Canaccord Genuity that shows that only Apple and Samsung made any profits in the smartphone market in 2012. Apple's profit share was an incredible 69 per cent of the global market, while Samsung's profits were 34 percent, which when added together comes to 103 percent of total profits. This number is possible because Nokia, Sony and Motorola together made a loss or a -3 percent profit. BlackBerry and HTC are believed to have broken even over the last 12 months.

In Malaysia, with the exception of die-hard Apple fans, I already see iPhone fatigue setting in. Galaxy is the new cool!

It will be interesting to see how this situation develops. Some industry experts have suggested that Google should sell the Android platform to Samsung while others believe that if the platform is to survive and continue to be open and inclusive, Google needs to follow Apple's lead and start building its own, high-end smartphones to offer consumers more choice.

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