Samsung has been absolutely dominating the cell phone world. Their newest flagship, the Galaxy S4, has been setting sales records left and right. While fellow android manufacturers like HTC struggle to post profits at all, Samsung has been raking in billions for years. In this quarter alone they are projected to make $8.33 billion in profits. A massive number made all the more impressive by the $3 billion increase over the same time period last year.
While all may appear rosy for Samsung there may be a little rain behind all that silver lining. Market analysts expected Samsung to earn $8.9 billion this quarter. While that $600 million may not seem like much, (actually it seems like quite a bit to me) their stocks might take a small hit. Regardless it's definitely a good time to be Samsung.
So how is it that Samsung can control a market so effectively, despite having a full cadre of excellent competitors? It may be due to their ability to exert an almost Apple-like pull on carriers. While companies like HTC have to wait months to get their phones on Verizon, Samsung was able to pull off a near simultaneous launch across all wireless companies. Their updates come with less carrier delay, and they don't have to give carriers different versions of their phones just because they want talking points for their sales pitches.
Samsung has quickly realized that potentially gimmicky software features tend to pump consumers up far more than metal build quality ever will. Samsung's touchwiz garners much criticism, but it offers numerous selling points. The camera app is particularly well designed and I know quite a few people who don't want to root their S4 simply because they don't want to lose it.
I personally prefer the HTC One over the Galaxy S4, but Samsung has done an excellent job ensuring their devices have mass appeal. Since the Galaxy S2 they have consistently delivered great hardware and delivered the all important software update far beyond most manufacturers. Many HTC ONE Xs from just last year are still stuck with a melted Ice Cream Sandwich (although some variants did get Android 4.1 not to long ago), while Samsung's Epic Touch from over two years ago recently received some delicious jelly beans. HTC always impresses me with their hardware, but I just wouldn't want to have to rely on them for update support. Samsung may be a bit too fond of plastic, but they've earned every penny.