If there is one thing I have learned in my years on this planet, it would be that it is human nature to staunchly choose sides. Whether it is Republican or Democrat, Coke or Pepsi, and Mac or PC, people love to rally behind the products they love and disparage the ones they don’t.
In the case of the smartphone industry, this product battle was an evolution, albeit a slow one. Smartphones had been around for some time before the Apple iPhone changed the industry. Suddenly, smartphones were cool and, to be cool, one naturally had to forgo their BlackBerry or Nokia for an iPhone and it’s simple, intuitive iOS operating system and iPod integration. Just like anything designated “cool” by the masses, a counter-culture to the iPhone phenomenon had to exist for those who didn’t want to “conform” to the masses and purchase an Apple handset. When Google introduced the Android OS, the opposite crowd rallied behind it and the argument became Apple vs. Android.
Samsung then introduced the Galaxy S handset. Incorporating the Android OS platform and a similar approach to design like Apple, Samsung took a design approach of giving consumers more than what the current version of the iPhone could offer. Give them everything the iPhone can do, and then give them MORE. The Galaxy S became the flagship handset not only of Samsung but also of the Android platform.
The Samsung Galaxy SII built up the success of the S upon its release and helped pull Android’s usage numbers ahead of iOS. Then came the handset that firmly established Samsung as the choice of the handset counter-culture—the Samsung Galaxy SIII. The SIII, offering many features that its competitor, the iPhone 4, could not match, was a resounding success—selling over 40 million units since its launch. A larger, high-resolution screen, a more powerful quad-core processor (or dual-core for some models) and LTE coverage offered by the Samsung Galaxy SIII helped create new battle lines. You were now in one of two camps—iPhone or Galaxy S.
Editor's note: This analysis and slideshow were created by TechInsights, a provider of
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I received a couple of the Qualcomm variants of this phone last week. Although I am impressed with the RFID and IR remote capabilities and other features (oh yeah, and the phone), my main issue is the locked bootloader that hinders flashing of standard Android on the device for those who don't care for the Samsung flavor. This is the main downside to me for getting a non-nexus Android phone regardless of features.
Allan : looks like you are the first with teardown of the S4. How about the size and speed of the new LPDDR 3 type of DRAM you found in it. How many dies for the DRAM ? How are they packaging all his ? PoP ? How much gap beteen the 2 packages stacked one over the other ?
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.