It’s that time again when we slowly need to get used to writing a new number when mentioning dates; luckily thanks to our smart devices we don’t need to go out and look for a 2013 wallet calendar, unless we really want to. It’s that time when we look back at what happened this year, with all the goods and bads, and anxiously look forward to what next year might bring.
As usual here at Pocketnow we’re happy to tell you what we think, and we’re excitedly waiting to hear your opinions, in our upcoming series which will contain both 2012 recaps and 2013 predictions.
We’ll have something for everyone! Every day this week expect a new piece gathering the thoughts of our team members regarding the topic at hand. We’re kicking it off with the biggest winners of the year we’re about to leave behind and here’s what the Pocketnow team members think:
Samsung is clearly the top smartphone maker these days. Even though it defies logic, their large-screened phablets are very popular.
Android seems to not only continue its domination but it is also distancing itself as a leader. Google managed to really shift gears both software-wise (with two iterations of Android but also with apps for other platforms) and hardware-wise, with its Nexus line-up which, today, contains a device for everyone (Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10).
On that note, whether driven by Android’s success (or the other way around), Samsung really managed to capitalize on a platform which is clearly the preferred in most markets around the globe. Not only that, but the South Korean manufacturer also managed to identify the niche market to which they proposed the Note II, as well as be bold, innovative, and bring an Android-powered point-and-shoot camera to the market.
Samsung crushed the Android competition this year with the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note II. They did a lot right: they got both of these devices on every major carrier, and the put forth an aggressive marketing campaign. And, of course, the products themselves were fantastic with the lightest version of TouchWiz ever, beautiful displays, and darn-good battery life.
There’s no denying that Samsung is this year’s biggest winner. They’re a very different animal today. In the past we saw a company full of things to copy from others, and this year, it’s gained enough security to lead the pack into the type of innovation we can all benefit on as users. They may have not turned any heads with their tablet line-up, but I love a company who’s bold enough to push even what’s not popular long enough to see it succeed. That’s what true companies are made of.
My second pick would be Apple. Sequels are rarely ever better than their predecessors, and still Tim Cook has managed to show us an Apple that’s still bold enough to challenge the system after the passing of Steve Jobs. Surely they’ve had their downs this year, but they’ve also shown how well they can bite the bullet and do what’s right.
I really want to say “Samsung” with the successes with the SGSIII and Galaxy Note II. However, I’ll go out on a limb and give my “Biggest Winner” award to LG. Not only did they release the Optimus G, they also released their first flagship device under the Nexus name brand. Both devices show that LG is a top-tier player. Sure, they’ve got areas to improve, but for now we have a new player in the somewhat exclusive “top-tier” manufacturer game.
Windows Phone 8 brings a shared kernel with the larger Windows 8 platform, stronger carrier adoption and the most compelling smartphone hardware yet to Microsoft’s mobile platform. Early sales figures are encouraging, marketing is kicking into high gear, and I’m bullish on Windows Phone going into 2013. This might finally be the year of the “third platform.”
That said, Android isn’t sitting still. With Jelly Bean bringing sorely-needed UI enhancements like Project Butter alongside incredible functionality improvements like Google Now, it’s easy to see why Google thinks the battle with iOS is over – with Android coming out on top. Because seriously, easy search is cool … but pre-emptive search is the future, today.
Chief News Editor
Google made some big steps towards expanding its hardware presence, especially when it comes to tablets. It ends the year with a nicely fleshed-out lineup of Nexus models, which the kind of power and prices that should be causing Apple to worry a little bit. Riding on those Nexus coattails, LG also saw its star rise a little this year, and I think it could be well on its way to raising its profile as a desirable Android OEM.
The Pocketnow Reader
Let us know of your thoughts in the comments below. Upvote your favorites and we’ll update this post to reflect your biggest winners for 2012. Top three upvoted devices, platforms, OEMs, will make it here, you know, for posterity!
Update: According to comments, upvotes minus downvotes, The Pocketnow Reader considers Google, Samsung and Windows Phone 8 as a winner for 2012. If you don’t agree, contribute in the comments with your own take, upvote or downvote.