After the launch of the first Galaxy S smart phone nearly three years ago, Samsung is, today, the leading manufacturer of smart phones. Out of every three smart phones shipped, at least one of them is made by Samsung. It was the Galaxy S3, and not the iPhone 5, that was named the product of the year in 2012 by CNET. That can be attributed to Samsung's determination to wrestle the 'innovator' mangle away from Apple.
In two days, Samsung will unveil the fourth version of its Galaxy S franchise at Radio City Music Hall in an event that has attracted the attention of the industry similar to previous releases of the new versions of the iPhone.
After the launch of the Galaxy S smart phone, Samsung's J.K. Shin had remarked, "In the race to redefine the smartphone, the starting gun has just been fired, and the Samsung Galaxy S is already standing at the finishing line."
By continuously improving its smartphones, and spending billions of dollars in creative advertising, coupled with Samsung's steady promotion of the Galaxy S name, the company has successfully broken away from the pack of 'me-too' Android manufacturers. It now controls more than a third of the profits in the smartphone industry.
IDC reported that Samsung shipped 63.7 million smartphones in 2012's fourth quarter, a 76 percent increase over the year-earlier period.
During the later part of 2011, Samsung released several commercials mocking Apple fans waiting in line for the latest iPhone. And when the iPhone 5 arrived, Samsung targeted Apple's "cool" factor by featuring a commercial showing a Galaxy S3 owner saving a spot in line for an iPhone for his 'unhip' parents. The campaign's tagline, "The next big thing is already here," implied that the iPhone wasn't it.
A very successful marketing campaign allowed Samsung to create a new market for phablets - mobile devices that resemble an an over sized smartphone or tiny tablet - in the Galaxy Note. The company has sold 5 million Galaxy Note 2 units in the first two months since its release.
Today, Samsung can claim that Apple is its only real equal in the smartphone market. And with the Galaxy S4 ready to hit the stores, Apple would have to prepare for the next round of competing barbs from the new cool kids of smartphones.