The battle between Samsung and Apple for smartphone superiority continues. After an abundance of advertising, lawsuits and patents trying to outsmart the other, it looks as though Samsung will be named the most popular smartphone manufacturer in the UK, according to comparison website Broadband Genie.
Whilst it looked as though Apple would win last week, with the iPhone 4S the highest selling phone in the four weeks leading to 9 December, accounting for almost a quarter of all sales, (from data compiled by GfK, one of the largest market research companies in the world) Broadband Genie have revealed today that around a third of all smartphones sold in 2011 were Samsung. HTC followed very closely behind with 32 per cent of all sales, and Apple held a firm third place but with a much lower 9 per cent. However, Apple must be praised for the placement of the iPhone 3GS, which still stood in the top 15 handsets sold in the first week of December, despite being released over two and a half years ago.
Competition between smartphone manufacturers has never been so strong, with the release of Nokia's Windows phone earlier this year, new Chinese competitors and as always, the other regulars: LG, Blackberry and Sony Ericsson, the consumer has never had so much choice in this market. Correlating with this, there has never been such a high demand as currently, with the sale of smartphones almost doubling to 46 per cent since February 2010 to August 2011 according to Ofcom, the independent UK communications competition authority.
Obviously, the companies will do all in their power to make the product as unique and appealing as possible, but with so many smartphones available, and with Apple previously dominating the market, manufacturers have had to battle to get noticed. Samsung seem to have chosen to fight for their piece of attention through attempting to sue Apple on endless accounts. The most recent and obscure claim is for infringement of intellectual property rights by Apple on Samsung's behalf for the way that on iPhones, Apple have apparently copied and utilised the way Samsung process their smiley faces on their smartphones.
The legal war has continued since April this year when three patent claims were made against Apple. The fight isn't one sided though: Apple has six claims against Samsung in Germany alone.
Amusing lawsuits aside, it is undeniable that both Samsung and HTC have now taken centre stage in the Christmas sales, Broadband Genie MD Ciaron Dunne said: "It's been a great 2011 for both manufacturers. We're recording around four sales by these two for every one for Apple, BlackBerry, Nokia and Sony Ericsson."
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