How long will Apple be second best?

Anna Scantlin
Contributing Editor from  Kansas City, MO
| November 9, 2012


As many news outlets have been reporting lately, the Samsung Galaxy S III has officially topped the iPhone 4 and 4S in sales during the now-passed third quarter of this year. Obviously, Apple’s “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” strategy has come to a sudden halt – or has it? News reports predict that King Samsung will only reign for a short period of time, before Apple returns to take back its throne.

My thoughts are mixed. It’s clear that for a long time, Apple’s strategy won the hearts of many and became extremely popular, and for the first time in a long time something comes along and knocks it off of its high horse. It seems like it would only be a matter of time before this happened, but is the iPhone 5 really enough to bring it back to the top? I don’t think so.

Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone 5 is a great device. It finally gave iPhones a much desired larger screen, and with it being height-wise instead of width gives it a bit of an edge when it comes to comfort in the hand. The monster dual-core A6 processor housed within the device is nothing to sneeze at, as that particular processor does run insanely fast. But is a taller screen and a faster processor all it takes to make it or break it, or does it need something more?

Even if the Samsung Galaxy S III alone isn’t the device that kills iPhone 5 sales, I would almost be willing to put my money on the Samsung Galaxy Note II helping to surpass the iPhone 5. Almost. It’s a close call because naturally all three devices have their pros and cons, and as always comparing Androids and iPhones is like comparing apples and oranges. While the Galaxy Note II definitely has the support of many, the phone is awfully large and many people still aren’t keen on the idea of owning a “phablet” just yet.

I think what I find most amusing about this whole thing is Apple has literally been number one for so many years releasing basically the same product – only slightly tweaking designs and software here and there – year after year that we just expected them to be number one in sales. And it works. Whatever they did is working to suck people in time after time, even me. Samsung is finally coming out of the woodwork with Galaxy S III sales, but also stands a fighting chance to stay on top if they combine their Galaxy S III sales with their Galaxy Note II sales.  Combined, you’re bound to have good sales when you have a solid fan base for two different phones designed for different demographics. So while the Galaxy Note might not beat iPhone 5 sales alone because people aren’t yet ready for a phone the size of a small vehicle, it might be able to beat the iPhone 5 when combined with the power of the Galaxy (S III).

Really it’s just a waiting game at this point. I haven’t gotten a chance to talk to people about their opinions on the Note II since its release. I honestly don’t know where to stand on this one. Part of me wants to say that the Galaxy S III alone can’t surpass the iPhone 5 sales, but I would have probably said the same thing about it not being able to surpass the iPhone 4 and 4S sales too. I would have been wrong. However, the Galaxy S III has only been out for a few months and the iPhone 4 and 4S are phones that are one and two years old. So, statistically speaking, the iPhone 5 will probably win. But I’m pretty much just fighting myself here and I’ll keep bouncing back and forth until I hear some thoughts about it.

This is your chance, PhoneDog readers! Who do you think will come out on top this holiday season? Has Apple finally seen its heyday or is it not going down without a fight? Are you happy to see Samsung’s sales doing so well? Let me know what you think in the comments!