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Can Samsung Galaxy S III take on the iPhone?

Last updated on: May 16, 2012 19:43 IST

Can Samsung Galaxy S III take on the iPhone?

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2012 is likely to witness a smartphone war with big daddies like Samsung, Apple, HTC and Sony ranged against each other, feels Get Ahead reader Bhautik Joshi.

And Samsung has sounded the war bugle with the launch of Galaxy S III in London, May 3. Some experts believe that the Galaxy S III's launch was to pre-empt the forthcoming launch of iPhone 5.

Going ahead, one can expect the rest of the pack working very hard to put forth that one flagship product every year expecting their cash register's to ring more profits.

Also read: Top 5 smartphones under Rs 10,000 

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Photographs: A collage of phones from Samsung, Apple, Sony and HTC

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Can Samsung Galaxy S III take on the iPhone?

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1. Samsung Galaxy S III

Galaxy S III rumours got aggressive right from the start of this year, aping stories that do rounds on the web all year round for Apple's next version of iPhone.

Nobody knows for sure how exciting the announcement has been, for Galaxy S II fans who were expecting some significant hardware upgrades like a 12 megapixel camera seem to be disappointed.

On the surface Galaxy S III may seem to be just a pepped up version of Galaxy S II just like iPhone 4S's release after iPhone 4. However, Samsung has moved away significantly from Galaxy S II's plain-Jane looks, to a rather curvy body design for S III. While being cautious in taking the leap on screen size, S III comes with a 4.8-inch PenTile display that, the company believes, boosts resolution akin to HD Super AMOLED.

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Image: Samsung Galaxy S III
Photographs: Samsung.com

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Can Samsung Galaxy S III take on the iPhone?

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On the hardware front, addition of Exynos 4 quad 1.4 GHz processor is quite significant. This spiffy processor ensures that the phone is swift and fast to operate and gives zero shutter lag for the 8 megapixel camera.

A lot of other features like Smart Stay, Direct Call, Smart Alert, Pop up Play etc. merge with ICS OS that runs on S III.

While S-Voice may not generate buzz equivalent to what Siri did, the point is it should work well enough with 'Hinglish' accent for us here. I doubt if S III is going to pose a serious threat to iPhone's legacy anytime soon. 

'Designed for Humans and inspired by nature' seems like a far stretched campaign, Galaxy S III looks promising though not a breakthrough device to sit up and take notice. Samsung is competing closely with Apple this year, officially or unofficially leaving Nokia behind in the smartphone race.

While Samsung has improved its market share significantly in India, as a company it has not been sensitive enough to upgrade existing Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note consumers to the ICS OS.

One can understand carrier-related challenges in countries like US and UK where a lot of testing is carried out by operators before they actually release new OS to their consumers leading to some delay, I fail to understand the delay for a market like India which is not tied to contract-based operator model for selling mobile phones. 

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Image: Samsung Galaxy S III
Photographs: Samsung.com

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Can Samsung Galaxy S III take on the iPhone?

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2. Apple iPhone 5

It's practically impossible to predict what Apple has in store for the next iPho#8800 there is a swarm of rumours on the Internet that keeps knocking on Apple's fortress of secrecy. Fan boys and tech pundits are speculating heavily on a 4-inch screen with slim body design that may use liquid metal this time around with a release date around fall 2012.

Apple looks unfazed by the meteoric rise of Google's Android OS that has captured a share of close to 61 per cent of the smartphone platform in US this year. The Cupertino giant has stuck to its strategy of calling the shots when it comes to product offering which gets lapped up by consumers even if they crib or complain of what should have been introduced and what was not required.

However Apple cannot ignore the fading design factor of iPhone compared to new series of smartphones coming from HTC, Nokia and Samsung this year. Screen size is turning out to be an evident odd man out against competition for iPhone.

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Image: iPhone 4S
Photographs: Apple.com

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Can Samsung Galaxy S III take on the iPhone?

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Retina display does not hold a very strong ground as differentiator and iPhone screen is also known not to be very good at scratch and damage resistance.

IPhone's app exclusivity is fast diminishing too. Instagram's launch on Android irked quite a lot of Apple fan boys and next in line is Flipboard preparing for an Android launch.

Similarly many such popular apps and games are porting on Android and even though it has a fragmented user base, the count of global Android OS users is simply hard to ignore. These factors would definitely play a lot of importance in shaping up the next iPhone.

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Image: iPhone 4S
Photographs: Apple.com

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Can Samsung Galaxy S III take on the iPhone?

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3. Nokia Lumia 900, N9 and 808 PureView

The big daddy of smartphone segment just about a few years back is facing tough times. While Nokia is banking heavily on Windows OS to regain lost glory and mark a return to the smartphone market, is it too late for both Nokia and Windows?

Nokia stuck to Symbian OS without actually working on significant improvements. All I remember is phones like Nokia Express music 5800, Nokia N8 that I used were badly plagued by buggy OS issues which made me bid farewell to Nokia as a phone brand.

By the time it tried to build an ecosystem of apps through the Ovi Store, Apple and Google had taken the game away from Nokia. Nokia has lost market share in significant markets across the globe,

Europe, where Nokia enjoyed strong consumer following, has seen Nokia's market share drop from 55 per cent two years ago to just 11 per cent in year 2011.

In fact, there's no surprise in Nokia launching N9 and PureView 808 first in India and Russia now.

I am wondering why Nokia is offering Symbian Belle OS for PureView 808; this imaging powerhouse is capable enough to blow you away with the image quality rendered by the 41 megapixel sensor (take a look at India with Nokia 808 PureView album on Flickr for image quality sample), Windows OS on PureView 808 would make it really an irresistible product.

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Image: Nokia Lumia 900, N9 and 808 PureView
Photographs: Nokia.com

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To add to its woes, Nokia Lumia 900 has failed to take off in Europe, even if it is generating positive response amongst consumers in the US. Tiled Metro UI on Windows OS is a refreshing change from both iOS and Android. 

While Nokia N9 is the only MeeGo OS based phone we would probably ever see, body design seems to be inspired a lot from Nokia N8. The N9 is being marketed as an apt successor to N8 in BRIC countries (Brazil, India, Russia and China). 

Nokia could have easily offloaded the cost of R&D on OS development by partnering with Microsoft at a time where it's not just Apple and Google gnawing at Nokia's profits in the smartphone segment, but also the assault of cheap and feature rich phones from Indian vendors like Micromax, Lava and horde of Chinese phones cutting down Nokia growth on the lower end too.

This is making it difficult for Nokia to focus its strategy and turn things around. One cannot write off Nokia as a company because it is still selling phones and very much alive. However without an OS owned by the company, controlling profits is history, and sharing success with Microsoft is the only way out.

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Nokia Lumia 900, N9 and 808 PureView
Photographs: Nokia.com

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Sony Xperia S and HTC One X

Sony is also starting afresh after the much needed departure from partnership with Ericsson; Xperia S is now the flagship Android phone for Sony which offers a 4.3-inch 720p display that houses 1.5 GHz dual core processor with 12 Megapixel camera and branded as PlayStation certified device.

Though Sony has announced ICS upgrade for Xperia S customers for now it would still be selling Xperia S with Android Gingerbread release.

In comparison, HTC's One X holds a better promise to compete against Samsung Galaxy S III. HTC has always been good at producing the best of customised Android OS experience. I've read quiet a lot of posts on the web where Samsung has been mentioned lifting inspiration for Galaxy S III design from HTC's One X phone.

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Image: Sony Xperia S and HTC One X
Photographs: Sonymobile.com and htc.com

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HTC One X also has 4.7-inch screen with a fast quad core processor that comes with ICS OS readily available for its phone.

Going ahead, making the smartphone choice is going to get more difficult. Android phones remain hot favourites for the Indian consumers so far this year. Variety in the price segment plays to the advantage of Android OS with Samsung going aggressive with its Galaxy series phone launches.

Do you think Galaxy S III stands a strong chance to repeat what Galaxy S II did for the company? Or do you feel Windows OS could spring a surprise for Nokia towards the end of the year?

Or would one mighty blow in the form of iPhone 5 launch by Apple this year end all the speculations on smartphone supremacy?

Well, the smartphone battle is out in the open and expect more blood in the arena as the year closes in on us.

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Sony Xperia S and HTC One X
Photographs: Sonymobile.com and htc.com

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