The march of Android continues unabated. No matter which market share statistic you care to read, Google’s mobile operating system goes from strength to strength, giving Apple’s iPhone (but not so much the iPad) a run for it’s money and sweeping aside previously dominant phone manufacturers like Nokia.
In terms of sheer growth in handset sales there’s no question: Android is as remarkably successful as the iPhone. The speed with which this has come about makes it all the more extraordinary – version 1.0 of Android OS was released just 3 years ago. Happy birthday Android!
There’s certainly many – not least Apple’s legal department – who consider most Android devices to be me-too copy-cats inspired by the iPhone. This is certainly the case with Samsung, whose iPad-challenging Galaxy Tabs have been banned from sale in certain countries following Apple’s challenge in the courts. Samsung themselves have previously admitted to being a ‘smart follower’, responding to the touch screen, gesture controls of iOS with innovation of their own.
Which brings us to the Galaxy S II. Is it a poor man’s iPhone 4 or is it a genuine contender for the world’s finest smartphone?
The Galaxy S II has been available in Europe for months, and is heading to the US shortly. It’s certainly been extremely popular – we can report that more CoPilot Live customers run our app on an S II in Europe than any other Android device. Visually, at a glance it could be mistaken for an iPhone 4, although with it’s larger size, square action button and 4.27” screen (vs iPhone’s 3.5”) the comparison quickly becomes less straightforward.
On paper in fact, the Galaxy S II beats the iPhone 4 in many departments: take for example the 8MP camera, 1080p video capture, and microSD memory card slot. Oh and it’s almost 1mm thinner than the iPhone 4. So there’s little wonder that many commentators believe it to be a genuine and excellent alternative.
Head to your friendly mobile operator, and the Galaxy S II continues to appeal. Prices vary, but you can certainly pick it up free of charge on a variety of pay-monthly contracts. That’s generally not the case with the iPhone 4 currently.
Game on, but not game over.
If you are planning to go down the Android route, it’s hard to look beyond the Galaxy S II. It’s a fantastic smartphone, and absolutely delivers on web browsing, photos, social media and email. There’s also a myriad of apps available via Android Market – may we suggest you put CoPilot Live Premium sat nav at the top of your list.
So Apple, it’s your move. We await the unveiling of iPhone 5 (or will it be simply the 4S?) with anticipation. You’ve set the barrier pretty high, but as Android’s success shows, the game can change rather quickly in the smartphone world.
What do you think? Is the Galaxy S II tempting you or are you waiting for the next big thing (it HAS been around in Europe for a while after all)? Or are you in the “nothing but iPhone will do” camp?