back to article Android device? Ooohhhh, you mean a Samsung phone

Android may now be the bestselling smartphone OS in the world, as Google pointed out in its Wednesday morning I/O conference keynote, but a new report says most handset vendors aren't actually making much money off Android – with one notable exception. According to a study by market research firm Strategy Analytics, the global …


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  1. RonWheeler

    For example

    . "For example, Samsung could request first or exclusive updates of new software from Android before rival hardware vendors."

    They could.

    Or they could do an Amazon and fork it.

    Or more realistically, Google are rich/powerful enough at the moment to tell them where to shove it.

    1. Shagbag

      Re: For example

      It's well known Samsung have a close involvement with Tizen, but it remains to be seen if they'll use it to either (a) replace, or (b) supplement its Android handset range.

      The problem Samsung would face in moving away from Android is Google Play. Samsung Apps is just too small.

      1. Shonko Kid

        Re: For example

        "Samsung Apps is just too small"

        But Samsung is quite big enough that it could easily go through the Play Store and offer the popular Apps developers a better deal on their own store.

        And I think they'd be mad to release a Tizen device that didn't have Android app support.

        Put those two together, and their reliance on Google for the Play Store isn't so certain.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: For example

        Tizen wil eventually replace Bada (it's other linux derivative) which isn't very succesfull to say the least.

        As long as Android is the market's pet they will make galaxy-phones. The future is less certain for Ativ- (WP) or Wave (Bada) models.

  2. LarsG

    Two years baby

    Samsung will become bigger than Android, two years from now they will ditch it and run their own proprietary software, close the door and put up the walls.

    Just you wait and see.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Re: Two years baby

      Given the quality of their own software (Kies, Touchwiz, the miscellaneous Samsung crapware bundled with their phones) that would be an exceptionally poor decision.

      1. Chris Thomas Alpha
        Thumb Up

        Re: Two years baby

        I believe they are going to do a google flavoured version in the future, so you can buy the normal samsung, or the google version, which will make it very interesting for me, I like my htc one x, but I instantly wanted to install cyanogenmod on it.

        if I can get a samsung with a vanilla google installation on it, I'll be super super happy.

      2. Gav

        Re: Two years baby

        Kies - a horrible turd of an application. It tries to be Sumsung's equivalent of iTunes and miraculously manages to be worse than even it.

        I spent a month trying to get it to do what it advertised it could do, yet was totally incapable of doing. Never ever going to waste time on it again.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I can definitely see Samsung forking the project via their own OS or custom version of android.

      Not sure how that would affect the balances of power and my guess is they would still be getting apps from the same store they are now so probably not a big deal.

      On a comparison note this in a way is similar to how Nokia is with Microsoft as they dominate hardware for windows phone albeit obviously on a much smaller scale.

      1. h3

        It is not that similar to Nokia because the situation with Windows Phone is all of the phones work half reasonably. Whereas with Android only the Nexus phones actually work properly. (Even then Google break stuff for no good reason like Bluetooth in 4.2 - Making things like Metal Slug unplayable with a real controller.)

        1. illiad

          "work half reasonably" ??? you will need to explain that... ah, I get it, you dont want a phone, you want a games machine....

          try this..

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Google is the deciding factor in Android's future

          "Even then Google break stuff for no good reason"

          Which is the reason why eventually handsetmakers look for alternatives. They choose Android because they wouldn't have to pour money into a dev-team but now it seems they still need that dev-team to patch Google's fuckups. As long as the money they make is sufficient it won't be a problem but if profits don't cut it...

          I suspect that ATM this is less problematic with Windows Phone. The platform is so crippled that it's hard to fuck up. Eventually the platform will get more features and more bloat and given microsoft's track-record for getting things fixed up it will eventually go the same way....

          So the best thing for WP to remain on the edge is a strong competition.

          As for Samsung's market-position. Don't forget rule no 1: When at the top, the only way is down!

    3. danny_0x98

      Re: Two years baby

      That assumes there's a point to differentiating. With such dominance of the platform, why spend the money to develop its own os: to go from 94 to 95%?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Two years baby

      So Android has allowed them to leas the mobile sector and make money from it they may never have thought possible, and you think they would leave losing access to the Google Play Store and all their apps and all the other Google services and risk biting the hand that feeds it.

      There is no great reason why they would do this, the risk would be enormous and the gains probably negative.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Two years baby

      ...and lose access to the Google PlayStore (and all those Apps), Google Calendar, Google Maps, Chrome browser, Google cloud, etc. etc. unless Google decide to be nice. Perhaps you haven't thought that one through, but I suspect Samsung have.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Two years baby

        Ive never had to use KIES although the option is there for people who have no knowledge of phones, transferring, syncing etc. Im happy to copy from the phone directly. Touchwiz can be replaced by whatever you like, launcher pro, nova. No rooting necessary. There is a world of differnce from forking to building a complete OS. Odds are a fork would still be able to run apps in the same way.

        Same can be said for the sony offerings or the htc offerings. All have their own systems, some people like them others do not. The beauty of android is that you can swap them if you like.

        As for samsung forking, I think google would play ball. It works both ways. Google want as much data as they can slurp. Mobile internet traffic is on the increase and with samsung having pretty much the lions share of android do you think google would want to gamble people will simply switch to HTC or sony? Perhaps they would switch to their direct enemies instead.

        No, I suspect google would certify the fork insofar as being able to bundle the google services (depending on how variant a change it really is, I cant imagine them sanctioning default BING for example).

    6. ScottME

      Re: Two years baby

      I don't see that happening. I have a Samsung phone, but that's because it's currently the best hardware to run Android on - definitely not because of the Samsung software, which I hardly use at all given the superior free alternatives.

      Of course it could happen, but if it did, I'd be surprised if anything like a majority of their customer follow them into their walled garden.

    7. Blank Reg

      Re: Two years baby

      It's more likely that the rest of the OEMs will move on to something else since going to Android hasn't made them any money.

      1. andykb3

        Re: Two years baby

        Like what?

        iOS is out for obvious reasons. Windows is struggling (at best) and is far from being a mature OS or ecosystem. RIM tried to go down the consumer route and failed badly. What else is there? TIZEN (sorry, I mean Samsung TIZEN)? Firefox? Maybe they'll bring Symbian back!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Two years baby

          "Maybe they'll bring Symbian back!"

          Which I wouldn't mind at all. It has the best featureset out of the box. Including full BT transfers, full 2-way call recording, local (BT and USB) and cloud syncing, full multitasking (red-button quit apps, white button run in background), it's more stable (than e.g. TouchWiz or or even Nova), doesn't require multi-giga, multi-core cpu's and giga-capacities RAM etc...

          I like my 808 PV a lot more than my SGSIII. Just playing a divx looks better on that low-res Clearblack amoled screen than on Samsung's pentile hi-res HD ready amoled. It's louder, better sunlight readability, takes awesome pictures and it's UI doesn't lag (unlike Nova on my SGS3 which sometimes takes ages to display the clock and calender when switching to the homescreen).

          They just need to create a HAL and an appropriate display subsystem to get hires resolutions into Symbian and support for multiple cores. I definitely wouldn't mind a HD ready (or Full HD) successor to the 808 PV. Make it as thick to hold as the 808 with a clear protruding camera-bump so that you never put your fingers on the camera and/or flash (Yes, Samsung don't put that bloody camera so high on the top edge!!!)

  3. Bad Beaver


    So Samsung has the best design in Droidland? THAT is the best there is? I mean, you cannot deny their success, yet whenever I look at one of their phones … they are crammed full of the nicest things but they do not move or involve me at all. Soulless.

    1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: Design?

      No Samsung has the best marketing department and ad budget in Droidland. All you have to do is compare the adverts on TV and radio between Samsung and all the other players.

      What's that? Yes, I expected you'd have a hard time finding the adverts for the other players in the market. Not much of a comparison, is it?

      1. Bad Beaver

        Re: Design?

        Not much in droidland, no. Motorola used to come up with some interesting things. The others are almost nonexistant. I find Samsung's ads an incredible bore. They are like your uncle the hobbyist magician, overly keen on pulling new tricks out every 2 seconds so nothing really stands out. Apple used to be very good but now they feel just empty. Now Nokia's ads wow again and again with impressive imagery, consistent look and feel – and they are pretty much the only ones who know how to properly show a phone … aw crap, I forgot I'm not at work anymore.

    2. Greg J Preece

      Re: Design?

      they are crammed full of the nicest things but they do not move or involve me at all. Soulless.


      You need to be moved by a phone now? They need to be anthropomorphic? It's a device! It's supposed to provide you with the best hardware possible, and the content you visit through it is supposed to affect you. My Playstation doesn't "move" me*, but the games I play on it might.

      *See what I did there, eh, eh, eh?

      1. Bad Beaver

        Re: Design?

        Guess I deserved that ;) Sure, the games move you - but what you *feel* is the controller (unless you are actually moving in front of some motion sensing device… darn modern times) and if the controller feels right it will help your immersion. Just because it's a device it does not mean that it should not be a pleasure to use all by itself. Ok, that's it, coat…

        1. Greg J Preece

          Re: Design?

          Sure, the games move you - but what you *feel* is the controller...and if the controller feels right it will help your immersion.

          I can see where you're coming from better here. For me, the perfect feel for a controller is none at all. If it's well designed and laid out, it should become instinctive, invisible. When I play an FPS with mouse and keyboard, these days it's instinct. The control set works well enough that I simply *think* to look to the right, and the process inbetween is (at the time) seamless.

          It's the same with a mobile device, or a computer, or any other electronics I use. It should provide a good base set of tools, a solid set of hardware, and then get the hell out of the way. My love of the N900 wasn't based on it being slick (though it was, in its own way), but more on the sheer brilliance of the available toolset that let me get on and do really cool things with minimum effort.

          We're probably coming at the same thing from different angles, but with me devices are 100% about functionality. Looks, feel, and "soul" come waaaaay down the list. ;-)

          1. Bad Beaver

            Re: Design?

            I think we actually agree to a pretty high degree, I just happened to employ certain … trigger words :D And I still think Samsung looks terribly bland. The N900 and even more so the N9 a perfect examples of designs that are very, even extremely reduced and "out of the way" yet also manage to provide excellent "feel" – and this very much includes the interface and what you can actually do with it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Design?

              ... and yet those morons went for that "soulless" crippled toyware called WP and even DARED to abuse the fantasic N9 housing with some cheap crappy piece of junk made by Compal!

              No wonder they're doomed!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Design?

      Yep, what does that say about the consumers and the whole buy and consume methodology most people live on? Dumb as knuckles ;-)

    4. illiad

      Re: Design?

      huh, then go back to apple, where the design is great, but the functionality is rather forgotten....

    5. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Design?

      "but they do not move or involve me at all. Soulless."

      It's a fucking phone. It you are moved by a phone and believe it has a soul, you REALLY need to get a grip on life.

    6. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Design?

      I wanted to buy a new hammer, but when I went into the shop they were just lumps of metal. None of them moved me, none had any soul ...

      See how stupid you sound now?

      1. Bad Beaver
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Design?

        Sorry guys, if you think that an attractive design that connects with the user is worthless, then you utterly deserve the dreariness of those phones. Even the most utilitarian things can exude a character that makes using them a pleasure. And some things are just… boring.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Design?

        "I wanted to buy a new hammer,..."

        Actually at that time when I wanted a new hammer I went into the store and was immediately drawn to this full metal heavy carpenters hammer with bright yellow rubber handle. It's soul reached out to me, let me take it and got me moving to the till.

        Doesn't sound daft to me ;-)

  4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. joeW

      Re: Samsung took over the Nokia market

      Nobody cares about your opinion. Nobody.

      1. Tim99 Silver badge

        Re: Samsung took over the Nokia market


        "Nobody cares about your opinion. Nobody."

        Well, you obviously do...

    2. Alex Rose

      Re: Samsung took over the Nokia market

      Wow! That's a fucking tenuous link to hang your anti-MS, spittle flecked ranting from today; don't you think?

      You're in danger of losing it my friend.


      (Did I do that last bit right?)

    3. Sentient

      Re: Samsung took over the Nokia market

      They produce great hardware relatively cheap. That's at least why I sometimes buy Samsung. Nothing less nothing more.

      1. Greg J Preece

        Re: Samsung took over the Nokia market

        They produce great hardware relatively cheap. That's at least why I sometimes buy Samsung. Nothing less nothing more.

        The one company I tend to go for because of their hardware is, weirdly (or maybe not), Sony. Their software sucks bricks, but the hardware is usually top notch stuff. From my Playstations to my e-reader to my MP3 players of yesteryear, they've almost always proven to be excellent on a hardware front, with software that comes nowhere near the same quality.

        With the exception of the XMB. I like that thing! Yes, I am aware I am the only person in the universe who does.

    4. Jess

      Re: Samsung took over the Nokia market

      The point you have failed to mention is that Microsoft takes royalties on all these new Android sales, which they wouldn't have (as I understand it) if Nokia had maintained Symbian's share of the market. So it's still a win for them.

      I fail to see how Nokia didn't see that Win Pho was competing for those customers who would consider iPhones. (Those who accept a smoother system, but are prepared to put up with lockdown.) Those who like Symbian would naturally choose Android as a replacement. Every N8 I know that has been replaced, has been replaced with an S3. (A small sample, admittedly) The reaction from the one serious Nokia smartphone user I know to the change to WinPho, was "F*** Nokia", and then she bought an N9 which she said was excellent, until it went wrong, so she got a Samsung.

      Of course the ultimate irony would be if Samsung develop Tizen and it takes over this market.

      (Since it is a Linux core, it should be easy for them to produce phones with the choice of Android, Tizen, Firefox or Ubuntu.)

    5. illiad

      Re: Samsung took over the Nokia market

      MS??? nope. Nokia had the chance to support android, and TOTALLY dominate the mobile market... good hardware + good software = unbeatable...

      But no, chronically stoopid managers ruined it... Elop was either a MS 'plant' or only looked at MS financial report, thinking it would transfer 'success' to mobiles... even the few Linux mobiles were killed.. even the first adverts for winmo were HTC, NOT nokia...

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Eadon: MS obliterated a great European industrial legend, as a marketing ploy.

      Well here's Eadon The Village Idiot, showing us what he does not know.

      If you knew anything about it, you'd know that going to Windows was done to stave off Nokia's complete collapse which began well before Elop took over.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Eadon: MS obliterated a great European industrial legend, as a marketing ploy.

        "Nokia's complete collapse which began well before Elop took over"

        You got it all wrong. Nokia wasn't "collapsing" at all. The N8 was a succesfull runner. Released to the market on October 2010. But LESS than 4 months (Feb 9, 2011) later Elop released the burning platform note completely destroying any momemtum the N8 had created. You cannot after 4 months know whether a product is succesfull or not. Especially in a complicated market like cell-phones (of which in some countries this market is ruled by telecom-operators instead of retail-shops).

        In fact data shows that Nokia was gaining profit, sales and market. An example:

        That site also shows that indeed majority of Symbian users whom defected went for NON-WP devices (probably Android... and probably Samsung-models).

        Again, don't forget that when you're at the top, the only way is down! And Nokia was at that time at the top. it had finally defeated its longstanding arch-enemy Microsoft and obliterated Windows Mobile 6.x!

        Until MSFT creeped in through the backdoor with a CER (Chief Executive Rat)! There's no denying that! He and HE alone singlehandedly put over 10000 people into unemployment and poverty. He alone is responsible for Nokia's complete demise!

    7. andykb3

      Re: Samsung took over the Nokia market

      So you don't think Nokia's complete inability to develop anything in response to iOS was a bigger issue? Despite their huge market share and development talent (the old Nokia dumbphone UI was excellent, and they even had Symbian as a platform to develop)?

      Nokia's current position is entirely their own fault (or at least their previous leaders' fault). If anything they were lucky that a software giant was as desperate for a manufacturer to take their software seriously as Nokia were for a decent OS.

      1. Manu T

        Re: Samsung took over the Nokia market

        "So you don't think Nokia's complete inability to develop anything in response to iOS was a bigger issue?"

        Nokia had developped a thing in responce to iOS. It was called Harmattan and was sold as the N9. Well before they hastingly thrown some cheap compal crap with WP7 bolted on to the market. In fact the N9 had rave reviews even from the anti-Nokia crowd.

        Why does everybody expect that when today after phone OS A comes out company N creates tomorrow OS B to counteract? It takes time to develop these things. How long "they" been doing Tizen? Or RIM doing BB10? I hear nobody doubting them. Jolla only showed a real protoype earlier this week/month. In fact how long did it took Google to get Android (from Android inc.) to where they are now?

        Be patient. One day there will be another phone OS or phone-product be the new popular kid. It might be Jolla or Tizen or a phone with Ubuntu. Who knows? Does anyone remembers that israeli product ELSE? What became of them?

    8. bailey86

      Re: Samsung took over the Nokia market

      Eadon makes a good point - I hadn't really thought of that before. I was a Nokia only customer but moved to an HTC Android - and now have an S4 which is a fairly amazing phone.

  5. Greg J Preece

    For Apple, Samsung and everyone else, the sales figures bear no relation whatsoever to the quality of the actual device. It's the boom and bust cycle of an industry that's come to be dominated by fashion rather than actual technology or usefulness. It's faddish, shallow trendiness and nothing more or less.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Woody Oh said

    Oh woody...

  7. Ian Emery Silver badge

    And now you understand

    why Apple are trying so hard to get Samsung phones banned in every country in the world.

    (As usual, I will point out that I am a neutral observer, I do own a Samsung phone but it is an extremely dumb B2100)

    My phone is a tool used for TALKING to people (so "old fart" icon).

    1. tirk
      IT Angle

      Where's the IT angle... a phone only "used for TALKING to people"?

      Bet I'm an older fart than you too! ;-)

      1. cyborg

        Re: Where's the IT angle...

        " Where's the IT angle in a phone only "used for TALKING to people"?"

        Talking is information and a phone is technology.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Re: Talking is information

          Um, well technically I agree, but from what I hear on the bus around me, I just cannot bring myself to subscribe to your opinion.

  8. Disco Dance Donkey


    Aside from all the perjoratives about manufacturers above, we have an interesting business point.

    Nokia my have made a smart decision, they know and make good devices, they market smartly (watch Hollyoaks and take note of the phones on it). What we now have is a phone vendor in a strong position with an OS manufacturer, not a minnow who can essentially have their portfolio rubbished overnight by a shift in code and no voice large enough to save themselves.

    Whilst I'm not saying it's the right move, being the big fish in a small pond can be preferable.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Nokia

      It would be interesting to see what all the Elop-haters think of this story. Had Nokia gone Android, then they might be in the same boat as all the other manufacturers of 'Droids who don't live in Korea. A sad boat with no profits - and therefore no champagne, cocaine and hookers. Boo hoo...

      Of course, I'm sure they'd just say that Nokia would be able to do better. And ignore the fact that no-one else seems to be managing it. After all, HTC seem to have some very nice phones, some look nicer to me than the Samsungs, but it doesn't seem to be doing them any good.

      However the bit at the end of the article may be the most interesting. Maybe it's just down to marketing spend. Well Nokia would struggle with that, without the huge Microsoft marketing kick-backs they've been getting.

      I also wonder how much is down to the channel? One of the criticisms of Elop that I've read is that he's been bad at getting Nokia into prominent places in the phone shops, and also at getting the staff to push Nokia's shinies. Now maybe that's just the staff being nice to their customers and pushing them away from Windows Phone. Or maybe it's unfair criticism, I don't know the industry well enough. But I've read a few other things about store staff pushing customers to Samsung away from HTC as well. So I wonder if part of it is that Samsung are paying the highest commission? Or just their regional sales bods are motivating/communicating with the store staff better? I had a brief bit of contact with this in my last job, working for a UK retailer. The incentives on just the Pay-as-you-Go phones we sold were horrifically complicated. We also made a small loss on most handsets until we got our rebates a few months later. With the actual mobile phone stores, I think there are programs to reward the sales guys directly - but even if not, management will push the one that makes most for them.

      1. David Hicks

        Re: Nokia

        "Of course, I'm sure they'd just say that Nokia would be able to do better. And ignore the fact that no-one else seems to be managing it. After all, HTC seem to have some very nice phones, some look nicer to me than the Samsungs, but it doesn't seem to be doing them any good."

        Nokia *would* have been able to do it better. People obviously like android (or don't hate it), and nokia had a european brand presence like nothing else, they had a huge reputation for quality and decent prices. They could have been more than just another Samsung competitor, they could have been where Samsung is, at least in Europe.

        Now, you can't blame the fact that they're not entirely on Elop and his platform decisions because they seemed to have had massive, systemic problems before he turned up. He just kinda sealed the deal.

        1. bailey86

          Re: Nokia

          Agreed that Nokia would have done OK.

          An Android phone with that amazing camera would have got my money.

      2. Manu T

        Re: Nokia

        "After all, HTC seem to have some very nice phones, some look nicer to me than the Samsungs, but it doesn't seem to be doing them any good."

        That's because HTC STILL don't GET IT! They STILL think THEY know what the customer wants while Samsung actually take note and try to deliver on the more important aspects of a device. They choose function over form. They'd rather deliver an all plastic phone WITH removable battery AND micro-SDcard-slot then a full metal jacket without these. Because they KNOW that additional (extended) batteries create more revenue AND THUS MORE PROFIT (on that same sold device) plus they add to the longevity of a device. The same with SD-cards.

        HTC (and LG too for that matter) just fool around like headless chickens dumping Android phones without a clue hoping that one of their models "stick" to the consumers. They could start by visiting e.g. the XDA-forum and actually READ with punters write/want about their devices.

        "Had Nokia gone Android, then they might be in the same boat as all the other manufacturers of 'Droids who don't live in Korea."

        ...whom already served Windows Phone as a side-dish in their portfolio...

        The article spoke of "An efficient supply chain, sleek products and crisp marketing ". Nokia had all this until mr. Eflop decided to axe it ALL. Nokia just as Samsung had online stores, software online stores, it's own native factories , great engineers whom made sleek products and a crisp marketing system. They now have nothing... not even their own HQ building anymore.

        In fact they COMPLETELY neglected that one or two phones that turned consumers heads. The fantastic camera phone 808 PurView and the N9. Both models sold substantial WITHOUT ANY advertising at all. Only by enthousiasts reviews and tests (even by renowned photography sites like e.g. DPreview). And even today Nokia does everything to clear peoples memories of that 808 which was THE highlight of Mobile Phone Convention 2012.

        Nokia was ran by monkees who spoke Finish in the past but today its run by Monkees whom speak Microsoft. Which is worse?

  9. Himalayaman

    Nokia was right

    Seems like Nokia did the right thing. No money to be made with Android if you are not Samsung.

    1. Jess

      Re: Nokia was right

      I disagree.

      Less wrong than moving to Android, probably.

      Less wrong than continuing to clean up Symbian, no.

      Less wrong than continuing to transition to Meego, also no.

      > No money to be made with Android if you are not Samsung.

      Ask Microsoft that one. I think you need the word "Hardware" added.

    2. NinjasFTW

      Re: Nokia was right

      except when Nokia was busy selling itself out the market was a lot different. There is a good chance that if Nokia had of combined Android with its expertise in making phones then they could at the very least be competitive with Samsung rather than a foot note.

    3. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Nokia was right

      Where does it show that other Android mobile makers aren't making money? They may not be making as much as Samsung, down to volume of sales for the quantity and volume benefits, but they can still make money.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nokia was right

      Consumers are idiots, they only buy what they know.

      There are far superior Android phones that the S3/S4, but they are too stupid or too lazy to look past the S3/S4 stand.

      1. illiad

        superior Android phones???

        list them, and why, other wise be ignored as equally stupid!!!

        1. hungee

          Re: superior Android phones???

          HTC ONE.

          Nexus 4.

          HTC Butterfly (DNA)

          HTC ONE X


          probably others as well.

      2. andykb3

        Re: Nokia was right

        Like what?

        The HTC One can be seen as on a par with the Sammy S4 (personally I'd still go for a Samsung due to replaceable battery, but obviously others would prefer the front speakers & premium feel) but certainly not "far superior".

        Sony have just brought out their first true flagship phone (which IMO is not very good due to disappointing screen, angular uncomfortable feel and locked in battery).

        Nexus 4? No external memory, disappointing battery performance, but undeniably a great price for an excellent phone.


        Any others? There are some excellent value phones from the likes of ZTE et al, but excellent value does not equate to being "far superior".

        So please, tell me which Android phones I have missed that are "far superior" to the S3/S4.

    5. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Nokia was right

      Now I have a Samsung Android device, I genuinely cannot remember what it was that was so good about the Nokias I had, and I really didn't want to change from Nokia at all.

  10. jai


    So this is a problem for developers too, yes?

    With the fragmentation of the Android platform, you really need to test across multiple phones from multiple manufacturers. But from the sounds of it, if only Samsung are making money, does it not make more sense to save costs and just focus on compatibility with Samsung's Android items.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Fragmentation?

      Remember Samsung don't completely own the market. They just hoover up all the profits. It's safe to assume that the users of all the non-Samsung handsets still buy apps, and I think Samsung have less than half of Android sales. Although you could save testing time buy just concentrating on them, and still hit a large chunk of the market. I guess that depends on how much profit you make from each installed app.

    2. Andy Nugent

      Re: Fragmentation?

      We have an app with 100,000+ downloads in Google Play ( They come from 1637 device models. 56% of the downloads are from the 10 most popular models, 5 of which are which are Samsung (Note, S1/S2/S3 and Nexus).

      Fragmentation is a problem in that people with obscure devices (we have 520 different models with a single download on that model) will shout quite loudly when it doesn't work perfectly, but in reality you can test on 5-10 devices and pretty much cover you user base (either using the same device or something similar enough so as not to see issues).

      I'm sure this is a bigger issue if you're using native code or writing the Facebook/Twitter apps where you'll have 100m+ users, but they they have larger resources for testing.

      Compared to developing PC software, where people could be running on hardware they've put together themselves, the number of variants of Android is trivial.

    3. Ben Norris

      Re: Fragmentation?

      Fragmentation is a myth

  11. Thomas 4

    What happened to HTC?

    I remember a couple of years back world + dog was salivating over the HTC Desire range and they were stomping all over their rivals. What happened?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What happened to HTC?

      They seamed to have lost direction, launching several medium range devices and no good attention grabber flagship, then they decided to launch a great design One but leaving out functionality that many still want - uSD and removable battery - forgetting that apple already has the "shape over function" camp.

  12. Ben Norris

    Nothing to do with sleek marketing

    Everyone wants samsung because they are giving the customer the best experience rather than daft gimmicks and lockins to differentiate themselves.

  13. Jim Wilkinson

    There is at least a choice....

    Android serves the market well with a wide range of machines are different price points. There will be attrition in time as the markets evolve. But, like other consumer items, competition will keep prices low. As always, it's the networks that make the money.

    Better that than the fruity mobile - 1 OS, 1 device, high price.

  14. Belardi

    Buy anything else

    Other than marketing... I'm not sure why people buy a Samsung phone for. I had the Galaxy S1... and not interested in the S3 or S4. I'm mostly happy with my Motorola and the HTC One looks awesome.

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