The Gal S outsells the iPhone in Japan
This time last year, Motorola and HTC were Android's golden boys. The Droid was an enormous success, the first Android smartphone that captured the public's imagination and heart. And when Google needed someone to build their first ever 'branded' smartphone they went with HTC, makers of the G1.
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The state of Android affairs is rather different today. The most successful Android smartphone right now (if we include variants) is the Galaxy S. At this point, it has moved well over five million units. And now MobileCrunch reports that the Galaxy S has outsold the iPhone in Japan. Samsung broke 18 straight weeks of Apple dominance with one week of frenzied sales.
Meanwhile, the Nexus Two has been outed by most sources as a Samsung device. Google didn't go to HTC this time when they wanted the best Android smartphone possible. Samsung has earned their trust, and the trust of millions of customers.
Samsung also has something that neither Moto or HTC could brag last year, or now. The Galaxy Tab is set to break one million sales this year. That would put it (well) under the iPad as the second most successful commercial slate. Sure, the market will flood next year and the Tab will fade back a bit, but being the first profitable Android tablet is worth Something.
So why is Samsung kicking so much butt? For one thing, their sales strategy with the Galaxy S is something every Android manufacturer needs to take into consideration. By making multiple carrier-specific versions of the same phone, Samsung was able to reach a wide market without fragmenting the OS any more than it already is. All four versions of the Gal S (and the Tab) run on the same version of Android.
This is what we need to see out of every Android handset maker in the future. Fewer one-off carrier specific smartphones and more devices like the Galaxy S. That will slow fragmentation of the Android OS and act to limit the power and influence of mobile carriers.
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The Galaxy S is proof that manufacturers can make more money by playing all sides at once, rather than signing exclusivity agreements. Expect to see HTC, Motorola and every other sensible manufacturer take a leaf out of Samsung's book next year.