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back to article Researcher names world's favourite smartphone

And the world’s best-selling smartphone during July, August and September was... According to market watcher Strategy Analytics, it was Samsung’s Galaxy S III, which beat Apple’s iPhone 4S by a healthy 1.8 million units. The S III accounted for 10.7 per cent of smartphone shipments during Q3 2012, with volumes hitting 18.0m …

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Anonymous Coward

Certainly not Nokia, their brain dead management have screwed up big time with the 920.

Massive numbers of people want one but can't as they have to sign up to EE and their stupidly expensive contracts.

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indeed, I thought the 920 would be my next phone (the camera being it's biggest selling point for me), but the tie up with EE coupled with not wanting to be an early adopter of the unproven windows 8 means I will be skipping this Nokia.

Shame, as it looks like a great piece of hardware.

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Silver badge

It's pretty normal for phones to have initial short periods of exclusivity - I've not seen any evidence that it's a permanent exclusivity (which would indeed seem pretty stupid - ideally manufacturers should want phones on as many networks as possible, and only grant short term exclusivity deals to get that network to publicise it hard in that period).

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Linux

Samsung? No surprise!

Samsung have a product that they CAN make, works better than the competition, gives much more for your money than the competition and uses an open Operating System and software. Why is anyone surprised that the fruits are shipping significantly fewer units?

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Re: Samsung? No surprise!

1.8 million isn't significantly less especially considering the iphone 4s is old technology and considering they sold 6 million iphone 5 units in the same period, I'm sure Apple isn't crying about it.

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Anonymous Coward

@toadwarrior

I would be interested in comparing iphone 4s & iphone5 with S2 & S3...

I've seen plenty of people with new S2's even after the S3 was released...

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Re: Samsung? No surprise!

Well, if we're including Apple's other phones, then sure - Samsung also sold around an extra *38 million* Android phones, as well as several 10s of millions of phones running other operating systems on top of that.

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Facepalm

Re: Samsung? No surprise!

"Well, if we're including Apple's other phones, then sure - Samsung also sold around an extra *38 million* Android phones"

That's not, pardon the pun, comparing apples with apples. The true comparison is the newest high-end phone vs each other (S3 vs iP5). Since iP5 is only out less a month, a better comparison is include BOTH the predecessors (S2 + S3 vs iP4 + iP5). Adding all the other smartphones in Samsungs range is not a true comparison.

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Re: Samsung? No surprise!

Better comparison for what? I mean, what is it you're trying to compare here (other than, "attempting to pick a statistic that makes Apple look best")?

As I say in my other comment, looking at single models is flawed anyway. But it's even more contrived to suddenly change the rules just because suddenly the statistic no longer suits Apple. By the same reasoning, in Q2 2012, we should have compared the S2 and S3 sales, to the iphone 4 and iphone 4S - I bet that would favour Samsung, but I don't recall anyone using that statistic.

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Re: Samsung? No surprise!

"Better comparison for what?"

the way I see it, it IS teh better comparison for "high-end smartphone". I have no dog in this fight and am certainly no fanboi (I have an HTC One V that I'm very happy with). What I was pointing out is that if using sales volume as a proxy for popularity, you have to compare the phones that are competing against each other, so only the high-end models. Including low-end models will give you a measure of... what? total sales? Of course Samsung will sell more units than Apple, like Audi will sell more units than Ferrari, they compete in different markets. (Oh, and by that comparison, I would personally prefer an S3 - or an R8 :) )

"By the same reasoning, in Q2 2012, we should have compared the S2 and S3 sales, to the iphone 4 and iphone 4S "

Yes, I agree.

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Re: @toadwarrior

I doubt the S2 and other Samsung android phones sold that much in the same quarter. People move on more quickly with cheap phones.

Secondly, selling only 1.8 million units of a technically inferior old phone in a quarter before you announce your new phone (iPhone sales should be at their lowest in Q3) against samsung's best offering isn't bad at all. In fact it reflects poorly on Samsung. Even with the better phone and in what should be iPhone worst quarter, they only just come out on top. Now that no one is waiting for apple to make a move, we'll see what happens.

Cambridge already has loads of iPhone 5 users. But then again we are some of the smartest people in the country. Naturally we will see the light before everyone else.

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Re: Samsung? No surprise!

Yes, I agree for some purposes it can also be interesting to look at sales of high end smartphones. So it wouldn't be all of Samsung's phones (or all Android phones), but you'd still add not just the S2, but also the Note, Note 2, Galaxy Nexus and perhaps others for Samsung. Plus there's the question of where to draw the line - "mid-range" phones like the S3 Mini have 1GB RAM, twice as much as an iphone 4S, and same as an S2, so I'd say should be included. So getting back to the original point, I'd suspect Samsung still win :)

The LG Nexus 4 will further blur the confusion - priced as a mid-range phone, but actually it has the best specs around... Or back in 2007, a "high end" iphone couldn't even run apps, so it's not clear the "Ferrari" analogy holds. For the most part, I'd say all Android (and other) phones do compete in the same market, and it's only dumb phones that we would separate out. Even as far as cars are concerned, I'd say most of the time, we want to look at total sales to say who's more *popular*. I guess we might say that Apple do best at selling phones that are expensive, but that's different to being popular, or "favourite" as the headline says (it's well known that Apple do well at selling expensive products, that's them being expensive...)

It's all a question of what we want to measure. If we're looking at popularity, we should look at even low end phones (if that's what's popular, then it doesn't make sense to say it doesn't count). If you're a developer looking at installed userbase for a particular spec, then you have something more objective to use to decide which phones get counted.

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Big Brother

Huawi,...Heuawe......Huawei

G300, cheap, works, cheap, rootable, cheap and JB just released for it in the UK. And it's cheap.

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Re: Huawi,...Heuawe......Huawei

CM10 yet?

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Anonymous Coward

*cough*

HTC

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Anonymous Coward

Re: *cough*

Dunno about other manufacturers, but HTC have a really annoying "feature" whereby if you mute the ringer (say in a meeting) it also assumes you don't want to hear the phone responses over bluetooth. Caught me out a few times. Get in car, press bluetooth button on headset and can't hear the "say name" prompt.

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Thumb Up

It's actually quite impressive.

If I want an Android phone, I've got a massive choice of handsets, however if I want an iOS phone, I've got a grand total of 3 choices - 4, 4s & 5, so the fact that any one Android phone can top the iPhone's sales is impressive.

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Re: It's actually quite impressive.

Have you seen most Android phones? They're not even all classed as smart phones.

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Anonymous Coward

S III is a good phone, but too large. I will stick with my S II until it breaks. Great little rig, portable and does everything I need.

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Facepalm

Depends on your hand/pocket size - it's perfect for me.

The big downside with the S3 is that the screen glass & LCD are glued together - a cracked screen cost me near £200 to fix!

At least with the iPhones you can just replace the glass...

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If you wear jeans there's not that much difference in pocket size. I reckon more people have smaller hands too given that nearly all women and children have smaller hands. Even if all men had huge hands they'd be out numbered.

Most of the latest phones and especially the S3 are either too tall and or too wide.

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A flawed statistic - but amazing Apple can't even claim the one stat that's biased towards them

A shop sells 100 chocolate cakes a day, and 100 chocolate cakes with cherry on top. It also sells 101 fruit cakes. Media claim, fruit cakes most popular!

In a parallel universe, the shop has decided to relabel the fruit cakes by those with 16 raisins, 32 raisins and 64 raisins. The sales remain the same, but it reports now the three varieties of fruit cakes as 50, 30 and 20. Media astounded that now, chocolate cakes are more popular!

"Best selling single device" is a very poor statistic. I would dispute we can tell the most popular just by looking sales due to the problem shown above, or even if the concept is well defined at all. Furthermore, it all changes depending how individual models are labelled. The only relevant stats are by platform (where Android massively leads), or company if you care about their success (where Samsung massively lead over Apple, and Nokia in fact are 2nd). For most people (consumers and developers), I'd argue platform size is all that matters.

This is the same kind of problem as FPTP in voting systems - but worse, as the arguments in defence of FPTP don't apply here. People can argue that there is no perfect way to vote (due to the voting paradox) so we might as well stick with FPTP, but here, we don't have to pick "most popular individual device" at all, as there are better things to look at (platform sales). Also they can argue that the circumstances where FPTP fails badly are often hypothetical, but this is a very real world example of the problem: there are thousands of Android devices, and most companies have loads of models, whilst Apple only have one model to choose per generation. So Apple phone buyers will all be buying that one phone.

"And don't forget - especially if you're a fan of neither Apple nor Samsung - these handsets only 24 per cent of world smartphone shipments."

Indeed, which is further evidence why it's a poor statistic. Let's take things to extreme - imagine 99% of people buy Samsung Android phones, but these are all spread evenly across a large choice (more than 99) of similar phones that Samsung offer. It really takes one hell of an RDF to claim Apple as most popular, because their 1% share is from a single model. It also means that Samsung are penalised for offering more choice to consumers!

But this story is still interesting. The media only cling to this way of measuring, as it makes Apple look best. It's telling that Apple lose this stat now, even though it's massively biased towards them, with them only having one phone per generation. They are now so unpopular, that even one single device out of thousands outsells all the latest generation of iphones. What will the media do now? Will they finally give up on the Apple obsession? Or switch to "Oh, but the next iphone will sell more, honest"?

It's possible that the Nexus 4 will cause Android sales to rise further (good for Android), and also cause sales to spread more evenly between Samsung and LG. This is also good - it's more healthy competition in the Android market. But the effect could be to make Apple look "better" when the media quote the stats of best selling individual device, because the S3/S4 sales are now shared with the Nexus 4. So despite even further domination of Android, the media will be spinning this as a win for Apple!

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Re: A flawed statistic - but amazing Apple can't even claim the one stat that's biased towards them

""Best selling single device" is a very poor statistic. "

While it may be poor as an indicator of general sentiment, as a statistic it is a very good one, or in other words, it is an actual number that is just what it is. Yes it leaves the interpretation of consumer sentiment open to pundits, but the S3 sold more than any other single device in the time period surveyed, therefore it is incontrovertibly the "Best Selling Single Device" in that period.

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Re: A flawed statistic - but amazing Apple can't even claim the one stat that's biased towards them

I'm not sure that being a clear number is useful, if we're agreed that it doesn't show anything useful. I mean, "Company that sells most phones starting with a lowercase letter" is pretty well defined, but it doesn't show anything useful.

And the problem is that the media aren't just noting this as passing trivia, they are parading this as being important - as justification for why Apple should be treated as the best. Indeed just look at this headline - it's not "Best Selling Single Device", it's "world's favourite smartphone". The media aren't leaving the interpretation open to the readers at all, they're concluding it makes Apple the winner, and the iphone (which is a platform, not an individual phone) the best.

(Not that I mind praising the S3 - the fact that Samsung win best selling company, and Android wins most popular platform, means that for once the stat is in agreement. But most the time this stat is biased towards Apple.)

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FAIL

Returns

I wonder how many S3's are actually still working everyone I know who has one (including me) has either cracked the digistiser or broken the LCD. As previously stated they are glued together, luckily I found an authorised repair center who can do a while you wait service for £130.

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Facepalm

Re: Returns

I like how you've been downvoted 3 times for voicing a complaint about your phone breaking. Some people get butt hurt so easily.

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Devil

Re: Returns

I signed in just to vote him down as i've had mine since June/July(? one or the other) and it's not even got a scratch.

If you drop your phone or treat it like shit it won't last long whatever brand it is.

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Re: Returns

The BBs they give me at work always last a couple of years, and I am downright abusive to phones. (although, I will admit I'm not looking forward to replacing my current one)

Maybe you just need to demand build-quality rather then shiny if you want a phone to last.

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well, duuuuuh

brilliant!

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