Can LG or Sony displace Samsung as the king of Android?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
When a piece of news stars to make the rounds 'round the Internet, one of the first things I do is take a look over the comments. Especially when it's a piece regarding a certain upcoming device's rumored features, specifications, or whatever else there could be there to talk about. I look through the comments to gauge where people's love seems to be at the time. I like to see which company is getting more of the attention, and to see where the shift is headed. Because there's always a shift. There's always another company that seems poised to start taking the majority of attention from another.
If it happens or not, now that's the really exciting part.
It's exciting to watch the shifts, to see companies move from the show's spotlight and then back again, because it usually means we get to see some new and tantalizing hardware, or software features. We get to see companies actually try to be "Number One," rather than settling and creating the same thing over and over again.
That's why when I'm looking through the comments sections on stories related to what's supposedly going on with the Galaxy Note III from Samsung, I'm finding it more and more interesting that I'm seeing a lot of Samsung dissent. It's gradually shifted from the overall love of what's Samsung's got coming down the pipe, to commenters generally being displeased with certain rumored aspects of the phone.
What's more, these same folks are apparently all the more willing to ditch Samsung's upcoming flagship device, and jump ship to another manufacturer altogether. Even before the Galaxy Note III launches. These same folks are praising LG and Sony. Two companies that have more or less stood at the rear of the Android Army, just filling the ranks, but doing so without any real proficient warriors.
We know that's changing, though. Both LG and Sony have devices that are certainly worthwhile, and definitely worth the attention of potential buyers. Sony's Xperia Z, for example, is a high-end device that's certainly worth a second look, especially with its build quality. And then you've got devices like the Honami, which have yet to be officially announced but has seen tons of leaks so far.
In the case of LG, well, they really turned things around. While I keep seeing people worry over LG's past ability to update their devices, that doesn't seem to be a major issue anymore simply because they really want the G2. And rightfully so. The G2 is a powerful handset, with plenty of features.
While Samsung has honestly had competition from day one, thanks to a constant influx of new devices from many different manufacturers all over the globe, I think it's safe to say that it's really starting to heat up. Even if we look at HTC, their new One family of devices has really put the company on a whole new level. And with Sony and LG both putting in work to release handsets that people actually want, the battleground in which the Android Army exists is starting to look a lot more diverse, and far more interesting.
But, will that actually translate into sales, and positioning? Will we see a huge shift in consumer purchase? Are we going to watch LG and/or Sony rocket to the top of the Android list, and find new position at the front of the Army? Are we going to see devices like the Honami or G2 take up arms as the prize fighter for the Android Army? Will we actually see Samsung get dethroned as the king of the platform?
Hard to say, but I think it's pretty doubtful. If LG and Sony can't market their flagship devices across the world, and do so on a level that's actually compelling to the consumer so they want to buy the new hardware, they don't stand a chance. Samsung doesn't just make phones and launch them, then leave them in the wind. They launch the flagship devices behind a heavy marketing blitz that makes sure the phones are constantly on your mind and in your face. Eventually, they just work you over and you have to buy one. Everything is eventual.
Is it possible that someday Samsung is usurped? Sure, of course. Anything is possible. Will it happen within this year? With the current phase of devices? I don't really see it happening. But, I think if HTC, Sony and LG continue their press for truly high-end devices like they have been, I think there's a real chance that they keep the attention of customers on them. And that's really the first step.
What about you? Do you think LG or Sony can replace Samsung as the leader of the Android Army? Are you losing interesting Samsung-branded products? Are you looking for another company to give your money to? Which way are you leaning? Let me know!