Phones: Galaxy line, Nexus, Omnia and Wave
Entered market: 1988
Latest Model: Galaxy S II
Future plans and development
- Makers of excellent, high-powered and feature rich smartphones running the Android operating system
- Current preferred OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) for Android, meaning that new versions will be tested on Samsung phones first
- A glut of new releases can make choosing a phone confusing
- Little variation between handsets
Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S II are considered amongst the top-tier phones running the Android operating system. The tech giant has announced plans to continue developing its Galaxy line, a series of large touchscreen smartphones packed with features. Budget lines like the Wave are likely going to be phased out, while the OMNIA line of Windows Phones are in a holding pattern until Windows Phone morphs into Windows 8, a dual PC and mobile operating system.History
Samsung entered the mobile phone market in a small way, selling a few thousand specialty analogue phones here and there. With the switch to digital, the mobile division started to step up its game. Their first big foray into smartphones was the 2006 Blackjack, a stunning series of Windows Mobile phones with bright screens, tons of features and a physical keyboard that rivaled the BlackBerry (which sued for trademark infringement). A hip advertising campaign and rich feature set couldn’t save the Blackjack from Apple’s juggernaut, and the handset fell into an uncomfortable market position as one of the best of a dying breed.
Samsung’s ascendancy, paired with Sony's collapse, gave it momentum to become the non-Apple champion. Its first attempt to take on the iPhone was the Nexus S, released in early 2009 in co-operation with Google. The Nexus S used an early build of Android, and failed to bridge the gap between the old concept of smartphones and the new. Samsung came back in a big way with the launch of the Galaxy line in 2010, currently considered the main competition for the iPhone’s market recognition. The Galaxy S II is the flagship phone, showing off Samsung’s engineering and display prowess. The Galaxy Nexus is the current "Google Phone", the Android phone running the purest and most deliberate build of Android from Google. Marketplace
The Galaxy line is widely recognized as a feature rich, powerful brand with the best and brightest screens of any phones on the market, with the S3 slated for a late 2012 release. Samsung owns the largest share of the mobile market across all of its handsets, including its still-going line of feature-phones, at 49%. This is compared to Apple’s 4% market share. When looking at these figures, one has to take into account that Samsung has dozens of phones, whereas Apple has only the iPhone. The iPhone is still by far the most successful single model of phone in the world. This tight integration and willingness to abandon the manufacture of obsolete models puts Apple well ahead of Samsung in market share by dollar figure, but the gap is closing thanks to sales of the Galaxy S II. Providers
Telstra is still the recommendation for those in need of a stable, fast connection that can best take advantage of Samsung’s whiz-bang devices. Telstra has wisely limited the Samsung phones on offer to the Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, Nexus and Ace model. Optus has neatened things up even more, restricting their offering to the Nexus and Galaxy S II
models only. Vodafone is particularly pushing the Galaxy S II, for $0 on a $29/month plan
. Other providers offer better value for money, but strictly BYO phone. Individual shops will have their own range of Samsung phones not advertised on their websites, but expect both Samsung and the providers to shift more and more into restricting the amount of models on offer.
Samsung devices have the same reputation for quality engineering that Sony once enjoyed. With Apple playing a different type of game, the real competition comes from Taiwan’s HTC, another maker of affordable, feature rich black rectangles, and LG, another South Korean giant that has been in the smartphone game for a long time. Motorola, recently acquired by Google, may also challenge Samsung as the Android carrier of choice. The race is theirs to lose.