— Android OEM’s — The battle for survival

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Now that Android has successfully seen the fall of BlackBerry and launched the offensive against Apple, the only other war that seems imminent is ‘civil’ in nature. A number of manufacturers are vying for the coveted premier position the Best Android OEM and so far Samsung have been seen taking the early lead.

In the next few years we could see the rise and fall of a number of OEMs. PocketDroid analyses whats next for Android OEMs: 

Samsung

Lets start with the best (Biased opinion, I know!). Samsung have greatly impressed both critics and consumers with their innovative Android lineup over the years with the Galaxy series prevailing over in every aspect be it design, specs or Android upgrade-ability.

The success of the Samsung Mobile has largely been dependent on its Galaxy Tab and Galaxy mobile series with Samsung Galaxy S2 and Galaxy S both selling around 20 million and 50 million devices globally. The Galaxy Note has in no way been poorly received with 5 million units and counting already sold by March. Samsung first entered the Android frame with the Galaxy S series and since then have grown into a world-dominant OEM.  The Galaxy Nexus also ended with pretty big numbers.

With the Samsung Galaxy S3 waiting in the wings and the Galaxy Note 10.1 and Tab 2 in the tablet department, it is very unlikely that Samsung will lose their title of the Best Android OEM this year.

Verdict: Has a long healthy future in the Android market. Although might face tough competition from HTC this year. Motorola will also provide stiff competition.

HTC

“Quietly brilliant” has been their motto for quite some time now but all of last year they were only ‘Quiet’ and not ‘Brilliant’. However this year will almost certainly hold something different for them with the launch of the awesome-looking HTC One series.

Pre-orders have helped dry up some of the sweat off the HTC executives who had to report a massive loss last quarter and could not afford to do the same this quarter. HTC One series has definitely lead to a positive reaction from consumers with many praising HTC for their brilliant design and wondrous specification that the One X features.

With the much awaited HTC EVO 4G LTE set to launch in the US. HTC will get by this year by balancing its books and making up ground lost by the losses incurred last quarter.

Verdict: Need to build upon this years momentum to have any chance of denting Samsung’s dominance over the Android market. Will have to work on its tablet market and launch atleast one ultra-high end smartphone to tackle the Samsung Galaxy S3 as the HTC One X simply won’t do.

Motorola

You could label them as a hit-and-miss company and you wouldn’t be wrong. Wow-ed the world with their Droid Razr but never really built anything significant after that. The rumor mill has also been fairly quiet on the Motorola front with the Droid Fighter the only real device that been circling around. They have managed to release several variant of the Razr but they are in itself basically just Droid Razrs.The Razr was always bound to have battery life problems with its slim uni-body build and hence released Razr Maxx to that effect. Droid 4 hasn’t spread the charm as it was touted to, lying on the same levels as Samsung Stratosphere.

Verdict: Motorola will never really fall out of the Android market after its recent takeover by Google and will never join the Windows Phone lineup so its safe to expect that Motorola are on the Android platform for the long-haul. Although recent rumors have suggested that Google might be looking at selling  Motorola to Huawei (Huawei could use a little artillery!) but I wouldn’t read into it much as Google’s takeover isn’t even ‘final’ yet. 

LG

 

LG have tried and failed with their Android lineup with many labeling the company’s devices as ugly (Face it, they are!) and could fix this issue by poaching a few Samsung or Apple design directors. Specifications wise the company seems to do well but the design is one place where they let users down. Also LG seem to have built a poor reputation for themselves. For example, Neither me nor my other Android buddies would start their wish-list with any LG device at the top. Only time when it does come into the picture is when one is looking for a budget Android phone.  LG Optimus series has seen more criticism than praise with the Optimus 4X HD the only one to actually catch some serious headlines. LG Optimus 3D Max has been a huge disappointment as suggest by recent benchmarks and the Optimus LTE is just another Optimus with LTE.

Verdict: LG will have to a LOT better if they are to survive this Android race but look set to be winning the budget smartphones category. Will need some huge improvements in design and will need to erase its bad-boy title that’s spreads into the mobile industry.

ASUS

Have perhaps the best tablet line-up but as the market suggests, smartphones sell better. The Transformer series have enough ammo to bring down Samsung’s dominance and it just might. The Tegra 3 powered tablet manufacturing OEM has also reportedly won the race for the Google’s Nexus Tablet and is in charge of its development. Will need a similar line-up in the smartphone category to have chance of breaking into the Golden 4 (Samsung, HTC, Motorola and LG).

Huawei

Having the world’s slimmest phone, Ascend P1, didn’t do too much good as it went unnoticed to half of the Android consumers. Is on the same level as HTC on its tablet development but is winning hearts in China and South Korea (Kim Jong-Un hates cell phones so I cant say North or else I might just make my way into his hit-list!).  The Huawei Ascend D, though is turning a lot of heads as Huawei label it the fastest smartphone yet. It runs on 1.5 Ghz quad-core processor and along with Huawei’s new power saving technology could be a HUGE hit.

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