I had a bit of a moan the other day in Five things smartphone manufacturers keep getting wrong, listing – yes – five things that continually irk me about the latest and supposedly greatest smartphones.
But, removing my slippers of cynicism and instead donning the pants of positivity, 2013 is looking pretty awesome as far as smartphones go – certainly better than recent years.
Rewinding back to 2010, when Mobot was but a twinkle in the Big Boss’s eye, the two big players were Apple with the iPhone 4 (a nightmarish time before Siri, ahem), and HTC with the original Desire.
Meanwhile, Samsung failed to impress with the first entry in its Galaxy S Series, the aptly named Samsung Galaxy S.
Fast-forwarding to this year, however, we’re positively spoiled for choice, with all the big smartphone names coming into their own.
Apple still features heavily, of course, with the iPhone 5S (right, maybe) expected to be mostly the same as the iPhone 5, though it’ll inevitably go on to shift millions of units and probably be the biggest selling phone of the year.
With its colossal range, Samsung continues to dominate both Android and the smartphone scene as a whole, but we’ll be interested to see how the figures play out for the rest of the year, with increasingly strong competition (see below). Incidentally, IDC, isn’t it about time for some Q2 2013 figures?
One of the first big stories we covered in early 2011 was Nokia ditching Symbian and pledging allegiance to Windows Phone. Let’s face it; the Windows Phone 7 era was fairly depressing, but there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel, specifically in the form of the Nokia Lumia 1020 with its 41MP rear camera. Cripes.
Sony had a tough few years, but ditching its 10-year partnership with Ericsson in 2012 has evidently done it a universe of good.
While the Japanese manufacturer was traditionally behind the curve circa 2011 with the likes of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, it launched one of the first 1080p phones in the Sony Xperia Z (left) earlier this year, and quickly followed up with the top-of-the-range 6.4in Xperia Z Ultra. Good work, guys.
Flying back over to South Korea, LG generally plays second fiddle to Samsung, but it’s proving to be an increasingly relevant pain in the neck, going toe-to-toe on features and occasionally attempting – for better or worse – to steal the limelight entirely.
We reckon the success of the Google Nexus 4 has served LG well (despite the widely documented supply issues), and it’s threatening to launch a Phone of the Year candidate in the LG (Optimus) G2 next month.
Motorola is another manufacturer emerging from a transitional cocoon in 2013, having been acquired by Google in 2011/12. Yes, Christy Wyatt, World’s Loveliest Lady is long gone (she’s now CEO of Good), but we’re eagerly anticipating the arrival of the much-discussed Moto X (right, as modelled by Google exec Eric Schmidt).
Interestingly, Motorola design guy Jim Wicks sounds pretty on the ball, suggesting that bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better when it comes to smartphones.
The US manufacturer has also promised a focus on durability and battery life, instead of going down the well-worn 5in 1080p, quad-core, 13MP route. Good!
Finally, last but not least, we have Taiwan’s HTC. To be brutally honest, 2011 was a terrible year for HTC, and 2012 wasn’t much better. Releasing an utterly confusing array of phones didn’t help.
Things are significantly brighter in 2013, with the HTC One (left) widely hailed as one of the sexiest smartphones of all time. Well done, lads.
Indeed, well done to all you lads. Good show.