Handsets from Samsung’s Galaxy range were the stand out winners in the Christmas mobile phone battle, with the South Korean manufacturer’s flagship Galaxy S III device outdoing all others to be festive number one, closely followed by the Galaxy S II and the Ace, according to the latest uSwitch.com Mobile Tracker.
The uSwitch.com Mobile Tracker is based on live searches, pre-orders and pay monthly sales and these are its findings.
The climb of the Galaxy S II – unveiled back in February 2011 – proves that there was still space for golden oldies, even in the fast-moving smartphone space.
Meanwhile, the popularity of the Galaxy range and new Google phone, the LG Nexus 4, relegated Apple’s iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 to 5th and 6th place respectively in December. The older 4S dropped three places since November, having impressed in recent months with its affordable price point – pay monthly deals start from £26.
The LG Nexus 4, which launched just in time to be a serious contender in the Christmas mobile race, boasts Google Now, which learns user habits and uses GPS to provide personalised information like traffic updates for the journey to work. It also includes the Android Beam technology loved by Samsung Galaxy fans, which lets users share photos, videos and contacts by simply tapping their handset to another enabled device. The strong specs and bargain price point – deals start from £24 per month with a free handset – have boosted popularity.
There was plenty of movement further down the chart, according to uSwitch, with price crashes seeing the Nokia Lumia 800 rising four places and the Samsung Galaxy S III mini up seven. The S III mini has enabled Samsung to target the naysayers who reckon the S III is too big, sweet-talking them with deals that start from just £15.50 per month with a free handset – more than £10 per month cheaper than the S3.
Looking at bestsellers of the year, the Galaxy S III has now been Britain’s favourite smartphone for eight consecutive months after hitting the shelves in May and going straight to number one. Its standout features made it the smartphone to beat in 2012, and not even Apple managed to dislodge it. But Apple’s handsets have been consistent top performers this year, with the iPhone 4S appearing in the chart every month in 2012, and hitting number one in April. Meanwhile, the iPhone 5 still hasn’t made number one, but has remained at the top end of the chart every month since launch.
Both the original Samsung Galaxy Note and its slimmer sequel bridged the gap between smartphone and tablet with massive screens and remained regulars in the chart this year, appearing in the top ten seven times in total.
Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, said: ‘December’s top ten chart reads like the Who’s Who of smartphones. Top of the tree were three Samsung Galaxy phones – more than matching the iPhone with a range of incredibly affordable devices. The enduring presence of the Ace and Galaxy S II - both released back in 2011 - prove that a bargain price point and strong software support can keep classic handsets battling with the heavyweights.
‘2012 certainly saw the rise of the ‘phablet’, with Samsung again leading the way. Both the Note and newbie Note 2 were consistently in the top ten bestsellers thanks to their colossal touchscreen displays and S-Pen stylus.
‘2013 looks set to introduce yet more exciting phones - January sees the make-or-break return of BlackBerry with a brand new operating system and refreshed range of devices. Rumour has it that a wave of turbo-charged Android devices are set to follow suit, while new Windows Phone 8 phones will also be looking to make an impact.
‘What can be certain is that current favourites Samsung and Apple had better watch out - competition is certainly going to be hotting up in the New Year.’
Author: Shujaul Azam