Samsung emerged as the big winner at this year’s Mobile Industry Awards, with the manufacturer clinching three prizes at the industry’s most prestigious event.
The Korean company was voted Best Manufacturer and its record-breaking Galaxy S II smartphone took home the Phone of the Year prize. Simon Stanford, VP for Samsung’s UK & Ireland telecommunications and networks division, walked away with the coveted Person of the Year award for his highly-praised work in establishing the manufacturer as a powerful player in the UK.
At a glittering ceremony in The Brewery in central London last night (14 June), Samsung picked up the top accolade for device makers. The judging panel, which comprised top executives from across the mobile industry, felt Samsung had tremendous strength in depth in its device portfolio, a desire to win unmatched by rivals, and the best marketing in the business.
The Galaxy S II was a central plank in Samsung’s success during the past 12 months, so it came as no surprise that it won the Phone of the Year prize. The handset was one of the year’s bestsellers and the speed at which it captured the public imagination caught the judges’ eye.
Samsung’s UK chief Simon Stanford was a popular choice for the Person of the Year award, with key trade figures praising his skill, enthusiasm, dedication and flexibility in leading his company’s charge.
O2 won Best Network, with the operator applauded for its innovative range of services, from Priority Moments to the O2 Wallet, and quirky and idiosyncratic approach to marketing.
After narrowly missing out on the top prize in 2011, Phones 4u took home the Best High Street Retailer award this year. The company was lauded by the judges for its freshness and reinvention away from its old sales model. Manufacturers saw Phones 4u as the place to go if you wanted to make a splash with your latest handset. Nicola Black, from the retailer’s Stirling branch, won this year’s Shop Idol, Mobile’s annual search for the best sales person in the UK.
Taiwanese manufacturer HTC claimed two prizes on the night: Hottest New Phone for 2012 for the One X and Best Field Marketing Team. The judges agreed the One X was a fantastic device that generated a great deal of public excitement. The company also walked away with the Best Field Marketing Team award for the second year running, with the panel impressed by how HTC’s team went about its business with a quiet efficiency.
A career built on consistency and success was rewarded when Uplands took home the Best Dealer prize. Avenir Telecom did the double, clinching Best Accessories and Best Airtime Distributor. In a year when it stunned competitors by winning the Nokia supply contract, Micro-P walked away with the Best Hardware Distributor award.
With a proposition heavy in innovation and invention, giffgaff was voted Best MVNO by the judges. Operator Three claimed the Best Mobile Broadband prize, while Apple won again in the Hottest Tablet Device award category, with the new iPad clinching this year’s prize.
Mobile editor Shujaul Azam said: ‘These awards recognise excellence and celebrate an industry which is the pride of the business world, with its innovation, business acumen and quick thinking. What the Mobile Industry Awards has done is truly reward the best in class. It was a great night and congratulations to all those shortlisted and the winners.’
• Awards’ galleries online: www.mobiletoday.co.uk/awards