The world kept its privileged front seat across history’s spectacular rivalries: the domineering Greeks versus the resistant Persians, the pompous Spain versus the hopeful Portugal, and finally, the democratic U.S.A. versus the radical USSR.
Now, it’s the 21st century, and two superpowers are heating up for another war, this time it's getting technological. On the left side is Apple, whose breakthrough iPod, iPad, and other “i’s” they came up with became the champion of mobile device enthusiasts. On the ‘Eastern’ side (literally) is Samsung, the Korean giant who is gaining underground notoriety for easily accessible and affordable Android devices. These devices, which include the Galaxy series, have proved to be as top notch and effective as Apple’s.
The battleground was even for the mobile phone industry, until now. Check out the best-selling mobile phones on the market today.
5 Samsung Galaxy Note II (over 8 million sold)
This Android smartphone has been lauded for its combination of a large display that’s measured 5.55 inches diagonally, and software optimized for an integrated self-storing stylus. The device is known colloquially as a “phablet”, because it’s touted as a hybrid of a phone and a tablet, and its overall look projects it as a cross between the two.
It improves upon the Samsung Galaxy Note by featuring a 1.6 GHz quad-core processor, 720p resolution display, 2 GB of RAM, and a storage capacity of 128 GB (combined when using a 64 GB microSD card with the model’s internal 64 GB memory). It also became the first Samsung phone to employ Android 4.1 Jelly Bean as its standard operating system.
In just 3 months of availability (November 2012), it had reached 5 million sales. This is heavily attributed to the device’s good feedback on its “unambiguous upgrade” and its S Pen app performance.
4 Apple iPhone 4 (17.6 million sold)
The iPhone 4 was the most awaited device of 2010, promising various updates that depart from its successor, 2009’s iPhone 3Gs. This fourth generation iPhone was heavily promoted for its FaceTime video call feature, its usage of the relatively new Micro-SIM cards, as well as iPod standards of e-books, music, and games.
The heavily noticeable difference between iPhone 4 and its predecessors was its sleek design, which fuses in an ‘uninsulated’ stainless steel frame that acts as the device’s antenna. It also has an Apple A4 processor and 512 MB of DRAM, which is significantly twice that of the original iPhone’s.
The iPhone 4 got mostly positive reviews during its release, praising the fact that Apple didn’t focus on developing new features this time, but rather, on the device’s nitty-gritty components. It was tagged as “speedier, easier to use, and made previously laborious tasks seemed like a “cinch”.
3 Apple iPhone 4S, (27.5 million sold)
A year after, the iPhone 4S was released to retailers worldwide, succeeding the iPhone 4. This smart phone retained the exterior design of its predecessor, though it has improved more hardware specifications and software updates. 4S is known particularly for the addition of the “Siri” voice recognition system, the ‘panorama’ feature of its camera, and also coincided with the release of the “iCloud” storage service.
AT&T, in particularly, got “extraordinary” demands for Apple 4S units. However, rushed launch of the product proved to be problematic, as earlier-released units had reported defects such as audio loss in calls, battery problems, poor Bluetooth connectivity, and confusion on Siri’s use.
This didn’t stop the blockbuster sales, though, as four million units were sold in the first three days of release. Additionally, good feedback on its usage abound, which included its “novel” applications, speedy dual-core processor, and its cloud and TV streaming support (proved hits with the gamers).
2 Samsung Galaxy SIII (30 million sold)
Not to be left behind, the Android world gets to have another hurrah with the Samsung Galaxy SIII. Departing remarkably from its predecessor, it has incorporated additional software features, expanded hardware, and redesigned physical appearance. Some of the said features include the intelligent personal assistant (S Voice, Samsung’s answer to ‘Siri’), eye-tracking ability, more storage, and a wireless charging option.
Following an 18-month development phase for the device, it was unveiled on May 2012, where more than 20 million units were sold within the first 100 days of its release. Factors such as the improved RAM capacity, 4G LTE support, and even the integration of the Android 4.0.4 “Ice Cream Sandwich” were some of the main reasons of its success.
Nonetheless, the handset was well-received critically and commercially, to the point that it was dubbed as the “iPhone killer” and a “technological triumph”. Carefully noted were the S Voice app, the processing speed, and the dimensions of the device, which makes it one of the best phones of 2012.
1 Apple iPhone 5 (33 million sold)
The latest rendition of the iPhone, and consequently the sixth generation in the franchise, the iPhone 5 currently holds the record of most sales with an astounding 33 million units sold.
The handset is a slimmer, lighter model that introduces a higher-resolution and 4-inch screen with 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. It also includes a custom-designed ARMv7 processor called the Apple A6, an upgrade to Apple’s mobile operating system (iOS 6), and the LTW support.
As expected, initial demand for the product was also overwhelming, with pre-orders having sold twenty times faster than iPhone’s previous incarnations. However, all didn’t go smooth, as Samsung tried to stall its success by filing a lawsuit, claiming that 8 of its patents were infringed.
Even reviews on the product weren’t all positive, as the new Maps application and the new hardware earned criticisms due to excessive errors.
The world is full of uncertainties, and more promising bit players are poised to enter the lucrative mobile phone industry. Nokia and Sony are currently beefing up their smartphone line-up, while HTC and Lenovo are also planning to enter the mainstream market with a bang. The conquest for supremacy won’t stop, not until one manufacturer discovers that ultimate every man’s handset.
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