Recently, the Android platform took another blow when Samsung released the latest Galaxy S4. This latest version of the Galaxy is loaded with native apps and other features specific to Samsung, that may further impact the rest of the Android market in a negative way.
Although Apple prides itself on secrecy when getting ready to unveil a new product, South Korea’s Samsung company has not adopted the same policy. In fact, even though Apple and Samsung are competitive rivals, the details of the new Galaxy S4 had been leaked many weeks before it’s release date. By the time the product was made public last week, knowledge about it’s full technical specifications, revolutionary features, and appearance were all “old news”.
Samsung Currently Ruling The Android Market
The launching of the new Samsung Galaxy S4 has made the company’s power within the Android market even that much more evident. Currently, Samsung has the honor of having built eight of the ten most popular Android devices in the world, having the most popular handset as well as the second most popular handset. These statistics are based upon the global market, using the data that 750 million tablets and smartphones have been purchased and activated since the year 2008.
Research analysis shows us that even when searching the world wide web, the term Samsung ‘Galaxy’ has replaced the term Android in popularity when consumers are looking for information on Android powered smartphones and tablets. Some have voiced concern that Samsung is becoming so powerful in this market that the company could end up dictating the future of the Android market, leaving the competition behind.
Samsung Features Offer Something Different Than The Competition
The features offered on the Galaxy S4 cannot be found on other Android devices, setting it apart from competitors. Impressive features such as smart scrolling and voice recognition are sure to be appealing to consumers. With smart scrolling, head and eye position can be tracked on the screen so that text will move automatically up or down. There is an interface in which gestures such as hand movements can be understood when the display surface is touched. The voice recognition feature is built into a “skin” on top of the operating system. These are all exclusive features that cannot be found elsewhere , free or for sale.
Samsung has made certain to come out with a flagship device featuring the latest generation of technology, and has done so more than any other manufacturer of Android devices. The software features and services offered on Samsung Galaxy devices can even compete with the offerings from Google.
With more people in the world owning Samsung Android devices, this is what most people have come to believe a typical Android device is. This is not the case, as each company has a different operating system and contains different features and options, as well as features that may be installed by a network carrier.
During the launch for the Galaxy S4, there was also a lot of focus on the new Samsung Hub feature. The Hub offers users access to apps and multimedia content, making it a strong competitor for Google Play in the process.
What Should The Android Market Do?
With the rousing success Samsung has had in the Android market, it has left the competition dazed and confused. So what should the other manufacturers do?
It is thought that Google needs to reassert more control over the operating system in order to hinder the success of Samsung. This is why the company bought Motorola, to prevent domination in the smartphone market. There is fear that if Samsung continues being this popular, they could eventually create a custom version of Android, which is bad for the competition.
The developer of Google Chrome, Sundar Pichai, is now the new head of Android, and it is believed he is the ideal person to come up with a way to fuse Google’s tablet, smartphone, and computer operating systems into one product that will work smoothly with all devices.
What Defrgmentation Of The Android Market Can Mean
The continuation of the defragmentation of the Android market could mean very different experiences for users of Android products. More variations will be seen from comparing brand to brand, and country to country. The differences will become bigger and more noticeable than they are currently.
If Google is able to rival the Galaxy S4, it may restore some kind of balance to the Android market. Another way to take the total focus away from Samsung is for Android to be made available to desktop users, allowing room for new developers and new applications to being exciting new features to the market.
If you want to save yourself the headache of worrying about the future of Android, there is the iPhone, which offers users a similar experience , more apps, and great software and hardware integration. No matter what happens, the year proves to be exciting in the Android marketplace.
[Image source: Samsung Tomorrow, Flickr]