Lately, I've been noticing a lot of people that I know getting new phones over the course of the summer. Many of these people I would consider moderately knowledgeable about technology, but by no measure technophiles or huge technology geeks. Over the course of the past month or two, almost every single person I have talked to about new phones has either talked about or gotten the Samsung Galaxy S3. The astonishing part about this is not that Samsung is selling phones, because they have already proven that they are quite good at that.
The real astonishing part is that these people are buying the Samsung Galaxy S3 (SGS3) knowing full well that the iPhone 5 is coming out in September. I have been telling anyone that asks me about the iPhone 5 this fact since probably June of 2011, yes, that far back. Nevertheless, the truth is that the Samsung Galaxy S3 has almost every single feature that the iPhone 5 has in terms of hardware capability. There's almost no argument that the iPhone is going to have a sub 720P display (less than SGS3), that it'll be a dual-core processor (same in the US, less in the rest of the world where SGS3 is a quad-core exynos). Admittedly, the iPhone 5 will be higher clocked and likely have better graphics capabilities, however, we are not entirely sure if most users will notice a big performance difference going from the iPhone 4S to the 5. Both of these phones also compete against each other in the exact same price point $199.
The one real saving grace of the iPhone 5 is the final adoption of LTE in markets where it is available. Having LTE will make the iPhone 5 seem faster than the iPhone 4S when in reality, most tasks on the iPhone 4 will likely be accomplished at the same speed internet speed notwithstanding. However, the Samsung Galaxy S3 already has LTE and is available on three different carriers with that option in the US and other LTE-enabled markets. For some, the Samsung Galaxy S3's large 720P screen is a great decision, while obviously not for all. Let's not forget that the iPhone 5 will be a 4" screen, which will give it a larger size than the previous iPhones narrowing the size gap between the Galaxy series and the iPhone. Let's also not forget that the iPhone 5 may or may not have NFC, while the Samsung Galaxy S3 definitely does. NFC is going to be the future of mobile and anyone without it is going to be left behind.
Some support of our past predictions came through today with some data coming from Canaccord Genuity, an investment firm that collects channel data on a monthly basis. Based upon their data, it shows that Samsung's Galaxy S3 has outsold the iPhone 4S in the US. This makes Samsung the best selling phone in the US and possibly even the world, we will probably have to wait a few months for 3Q 2012 data, but we're sure that Samsung is selling these phones like they've never sold phones before. Let's not forget, they sold 10 million Samsung Galaxy S3's in 55 days.
As you can see, The Samsung Galaxy S3 slowly creeped up on the iPhone 4S and overtook it in most carriers with the exception of AT&T and T-Mobile, where T-Mobile still does not carry any Apple products. Additionally, you can see that Nokia dropped off the list of most popular brands, which is obviously disappointing. However, we do expect Nokia to make a rebound with their new Windows Phone 8 devices, how much of a rebound remains to be seen.
Getting back to the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3, the real truth is that Apple will still post stellar numbers and probably beat their 'expectations' once again. However, we do believe that these numbers are going to be lower than what Apple or any analyst would have expected earlier in the year prior to Samsung's SGS3 launch. Also, if you follow the Apple community, you will know that usually around an iPhone or iPad launch some analysts make stratospheric and hyperbolic statements about the sales expectations of the next Apple device. We are almost a week away from the announcement of the iPhone 5 and we haven't heard a single mum, this should be concerning to anyone that thinks the iPhone 5 is going to be the wildest success Apple has ever seen. It will no doubt be successful, but it won't be as successful as many would have hoped.
If so many people are buying Samsung Galaxy S3's knowing that the next iPhone is coming out in a month, how many people are going to be left to buy the iPhone 5 when it comes out? Also, how many of those Galaxy S3 owners are going to trade in their newly purchased devices for iPhones when the feature sets are so similar?
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