Is 2012 the year of Samsung and HTC?

Posted Apr 03, 2012 at 11:33 am in Threads > Opinions

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In 2011, we had a number of very hyped-up devices but fewer that were actually a hit. The obvious major success story of 2012 was the Samsung Galaxy S II, despite taking far too long to hit the US. One obvious fail story was the Motorola Droid Bionic. Another obvious fail story was all of HTC throughout the year. They had a couple decent phones but they had far too many mediocre or bad phones as well. (However, one thing to give them major props on is their HTC Dev Team due to their progress in unlocking bootloaders.)

Now that 2011 is over, 2012 presents an opportunity for manufacturers to wipe the slate and start all over. HTC is embracing this opportunity much more strongly than the other manufacturers and their HTC One X phone (and the entire HTC One series) is evidence of this. The HTC One X has been getting some amazing reviews. In fact, the last time we saw such an overwhelmingly positive reception to a phone’s launch was with the Samsung Galaxy S II – what could fairly easily be considered the best phone of 2011 (I’m considering my beloved Galaxy Nexus as an offshoot/refresh of the Galaxy S II).

However, as great as this HTC One X fanfare has been, there has still been a shadow looming over it thanks to Samsung’s Galaxy S III. Not a lot is known about the Galaxy S III but a lot is speculated and rumored about it and it very well may be the phone that beats out the HTC One X ever-so-slightly and take the crown as the best device of 2012.

But that’s not what we’re here to talk about today. This is not about the One X versus the Galaxy S III. Any way you put it, these two phones will be utterly amazing devices! What we’re here about is moreso HTC and Samsung versus all of the other manufacturers. Does anybody else have any phones coming up that you’re excited about? Has anybody else released any phones yet in 2012 that you care about?

Chime in and let us know what you think. Is 2012 going to be completely dominated by HTC and Samsung where we see all other manufacturers’ phones becoming second-class citizens in the race for the best superphone? Or are the other manufacturers going to come out with some equally-amazing (and successful) devices?

  • Cypher

    For me there really isn’t any larger launch than the Galaxy series, primarily because they’re so easy to root, flash, and mod. HTC used to be that way but over the years its become more of a pain to work with specifically in getting root access. All in all I doubt that any one else will release a phone that will even begin to compete with these two giants.

    • jaxidian

      Have you checked out the work that the HTC Dev Team has done? They’ve provided for an official way to unlock bootloaders on most of the recently popular devices! This puts these HTC devices on a fairly level playing field with the Nexus devices where you no longer have to rely on exploits to gain full control of your phone.

      • Fysi

        Or you can just leave the bootloader unlocked like Samsung do?

  • Taylor Wimberly

    If you find a better phone, buy it. HTC is that device right now. Samsung could be it several months from now.

    And Motorola? They are the wildcard. Who knows what Google has planned for them next.

  • Joel

    Actually, they’ve been dominating for some years now. Consider the Nexus One/ HTC Evo/ GS1 and GS2, Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus – HTC and Samsung are usually the top contenders of every year, probably because theyre brands are more focused. What I mean is

    HTC Evo Samsung Galaxy S – Fascinate/Epic/Vibrant/Captivate
    HTC Evo Shift (and the G2) Samsung Galaxy S II – Epic 4G touch/Skyrocket
    HTC Evo 3d Samsung Nexus S
    HTC Evo One Samsung Galaxy Nexus

    If Motorola didnt sufficate their original DROID line, they would be up there too – but they have too many devices for people to focus on.

    So yes, 2012 belongs to the HTC One and Galaxy S III :)

  • Bryan Stoner

    On the surface you can easily tell HTC and Samsung are the two top manufacturers for Android.

    Motorola definitely has potential. They just have to realize their position and adjust accordingly.

    Deep in my mind, Asus is the winner. If only they had better advertising!!!!!! I think the Padphone will turn out to be the best device yet. (Of course not spec wise)

    • jaxidian

      I think the PadFone is an AMAZING device but I’m not so sure v1 of it will be all that successful. I hope I’m wrong. I think v2 will be MUCH more successful and by v3, we’ll see copycats of it.

      • Bryan Stoner

        OOo good point!

  • Bob Cichon

    Being a Bionic customer for the last 6 months or so, I cannot understand how it was a failure.. To be honest, mine has worked great! I have been on Android phones since the first Droid was released almost 3 years ago. It was rough but did the job. The Bionic has been almost perfect. Runs apps great. battery life is all day or more and the screen is good in general. I’ll keep it. I think this opinion in the article above is not founded on fact, or reality.. just simply opinion.

    • jaxidian

      “I think this opinion in the article above is not founded on fact, or reality..”

      As do I, hence why I categorized it under “Opinion”. ;-)

      The failure with the Bionic was not the physical device itself but in how Motorola handled the entire situation surrounding the device. Motorola used the device as the poster child for the great phones to come, only, people kept waiting and waiting and finally gave up on the device before it ever came. In Q1 2011, it was announced that it would be released the following quarter. 9 months later, it was actually given a launch date. In this 9 month period, it went from the phone that everybody wanted to the phone that nobody cared about. That was the failure.

      The device itself was a solid device with lots of umph. But the Motorola uber-hyped the device and disappointed the world with the delays. That was a tremendous failure. To be honest, my beloved Galaxy Nexus suffered somewhat from the same thing. However, it was done at a much smaller degree, and the uber-hyping of that phone didn’t come from Google or Samsung, it came from us geeks.

      Ultimately, the product design is only part of the equation. Execution is just as important of a factor. Look at Web OS. That was a really cool system. However, you’d be hard-pressed to say it was anything but a failure. Why? Execution was poor. The Droid Bionic? The same thing. It was a pretty good device. But it was far from the success that the Razr was. Why? Execution.

      • jaxidian

        um, I quoted only part of what I meant to quote.

        “I think this opinion in the article above is … just simply opinion” should have been the quote. :-D

    • Art

      I agree. My bionic is great. I wouldn’t call it a failure.

  • Nick Gray

    in order for Samsung to take the crown this year, they need to release the gsiii globally in July (that includes all major U.S.carriers). If not, HTC will have to much of a head start.

    • jaxidian

      I’d say realistically, the gsiii will be released over ~3 months or so globally. If that’s the case, do you think that will mean that HTC wins and Samsung falls into the category of “the other guys”?

  • Pete

    In my country, HTC’s warranty support is dreadful – almost non-existent. Only one repair center for the whole country. I was left without a phone for a month.

    Samsung, at least have numerous repair centers here and a reasonable reputation for warranty support.
    So I guess my next phone will be a Galaxy S III.

    • jaxidian

      If you don’t mind my asking, what country is that?

  • djembeman

    I’ve never liked any Samsung or HTC phone… so I’m gonna say that they will NOT dominate in 2012. Motorola still makes the best mobile devices.

  • Heidi

    What is the percentage of consumers that are technophiles and follow the development, marketing, and release of these devices? I’d say a very small portion of the buying market. They’re the only ones who would consider a device a failure based on deployment alone. I couldn’t imagine the average phone buyer saying “Nope, I won’t buy that phone because the company said it was going to be available 9 months ago.” However, the fact that the Droid Razr line emerged shortly after the bionic’s launch had more to do with market failure than the device itself. Yep, Bionic owner here, but if I could get a Razr Maxx I’d go for it!