Samsung was the story in technology for the first three months.
Reader interest in Samsung was off the charts. Google search traffic for Samsung stories was huge, suggesting that normal people were anxious to learn more about its next big phone.
It’s starting to look like that may have been a bit of a jinx.
Samsung is no longer making the best Android phones, according to our lead gadget reviewer Steve Kovach.
And yesterday, Kovach said that the LG Optimus G Pro was better than Samsung’s Galaxy Note II due to a sharper screen, better battery, and lower price.
Manufacturing the best phone doesn’t mean selling the most phones. Apple’s iPhone 5 was largely considered the best phone on the market, but it only has a sliver of the smartphone market’s sales.
Samsung’s rise wasn’t about building the best smartphones, although it helped. Samsung’s rise was fuelled by a gigantic marketing budget, strong carrier distribution, and a willingness to experiment with different sized screens.
The fact that its phones are no longer considered the best on the market won’t necessarily be its undoing. It’s still has a strong brand name, a big marketing budget, and strong carrier distribution.
However, this could be the start of Samsung’s lead weakening.
The competitive dynamics that threaten Apple apply even moreso to Samsung. It’s not hard for an Android user to switch from phone to phone because the Android operating system is uniform. There isn’t much keeping a Samsung user locked-in.
It won’t happen overnight, but if reviews continue to roll in about superior products from rivals, Samsung’s could lose its lead in the smartphone market.
Google’s Motorola, HTC, and LG are all going to do their best to topple Samsung.
So far, they’ve made the first successful step by manufacturing a superior product.
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