It's the very last day of 2012, tomorrow begins a New Year in the world of Android. So we thought we'd list the Top 10 Android Manufacturers of 2012. Some of the OEM's did very well this year, a few started their turn around, and a few are trying to get their foot in the door of new markets. So who's number one? Well let's see. If you disagree with any of our picks, be sure to leave a comment below.
This year Acer released a few budget/low-end tablets. Nothing to fancy. But even for the price tag it was not a bargain, especially once July hit and the Nexus 7 was available with better specs for the same price or less. Acer is one of those tablet-only manufacturers, we haven't seen much from them in the terms of phones lately. Although they did have that Cloud Mobile phone for China earlier this year.
Huawei is one of those Chinese manufacturers that is really trying to get their foot in the door of the US market. In the past they've had a few devices here in the US. Mostly on pre-paid or no contract carriers like Metro PCS, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile. They were also responsible for T-Mobile myTouch Q 2 which also made our list for the Top 10 Worst Phones of 2012. The leaks we've seen from Huawei for their 2013 devices do look promising though, hopefully they can bring the rumored Ascend Mate and Ascend D2 to the States in 2013.
Sony is another one that's been struggling, especially here in the US. So far Sony has only launched devices on AT&T, which is partially why they haven't done to well in the US market. But the Xperia TL was a great device, and from what I can tell, it did pretty well sales wise for a device only available on one carrier. We've also seen many leaks for new Sony devices that will be shown off at CES next week. Including the Yuga and Odin, which are basically the same device. One is a dual-SIM version of the other. But the specs are looking pretty good in these leaks. Hopefully 2013 will be a year of change for Sony.
Like Huawei, ZTE is another Chinese manufacturer trying to compete with Samsung and the other big dogs in the US. So far, the devices we've seen from ZTE launch in the US have looked to be almost stock Android, and if they keep that up with their new devices they'll do pretty well in the US. Unless they just have ugly devices and put them on the wrong carriers. We are expecting to see a couple of good devices from ZTE at CES and Mobile World Congress within the next couple of months, it'll be interesting to see what they deliver and to which carrier they deliver the goods too.
Similar to Acer, ASUS is mostly known for their tablets. They have put out a couple of phones including the Padfone and Padfone 2. But their most successful line up has been the transformer line. This year they launched the Transformer Pad TF300, and Transformer Infinity Pad TF700, along with the Nexus 7. Now we all know how popular the Nexus 7 is, just about everyone has one, or more. If ASUS could do to phones, what they've done to the tablet game, they could be a real contender against Samsung.
In 2012, Google finished their acquisition of Motorola. And they've been working to turn the manufacturer around. The end of 2012 is when we really started seeing what the new Motorola is going to be like. In September, Motorola launched the Droid Razr HD, Droid Razr Maxx HD, and the Droid Razr M. They did launch on ICS, but they got their Android 4.1 updates starting in November. And for being devices on Verizon, that's pretty fast. So what about their phones? Well there is that rumor of the X phone that is being worked on with them and Google. So we'll have to wait until 2013 to see what Google and Motorola have up their sleeve.
Most people wouldn't call Amazon an Android OEM. Simply because they use a forked version of Android. But they get such a high spot on the list for having a device that competes with the Nexus 7, and is cheaper. Starting at $159 the new Kindle Fire is not quite as powerful as the Nexus 7, but it's still a great device. Especially for the price. Then there's those rumors that Amazon is working on their own smartphone. We've been hearing that for a few years now. At this point, we'll just have to wait and see if they actually do have their own smartphone in the pipelines.
What's LG doing here? Typically LG is known as one of the "budget" manufacturers. They make all the budget devices, or crappy devices. But in the end of 2012 they made some pretty good devices. The most popular one being the Nexus 4. Which is almost a twin brother of the LG Optimus G that is available on AT&T and Sprint. It's also pretty amazing that they were able to get the Optimus G on two carriers in the US with only one change, and that is the camera. The Sprint version has a 13MP camera and the AT&T version has a 8MP. Hopefully in 2013 LG can get the Nexus 4 back in stock, and make some pretty great devices that don't lack hardware.
HTC started out strong this year. Announcing the HTC One X, S, and V at Mobile World Congress back in February. Then they announced the HTC EVO 4G LTE for Sprint and the HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE for Verizon. Then in the middle of the year they started getting a bunch of flack for their lack of updates. Nothing new. Now fast forward to November 2012. Verizon and HTC unveil the HTC Droid DNA. Now that's a beast, and something HTC should be proud of. But they shouldn't be proud of it being a Verizon exclusive. As for 2013, let's hope that HTC continues its way back into Samsung's competition. We can't have Samsung taking all the market share, or can we?
Currently the number one smartphone manufacturer in the world, Samsung. This has been their biggest year yet. They released the Galaxy S3 on not one or two, but five carriers in the US. That included AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular. Later in the year Metro PCS was added to that group. So how could they top that? In August, when the Galaxy Note 2 was announced they did a repeat. And launched it on all five major carriers again. So what can we expect from Samsung in 2013? Probably more innovation, and more sales. It's going to be exciting to see what Sammy has in store for 2013 though.