Android’s Next Step: Marketing for the Mini Consumer

Posted on Feb 6 2013 - 2:42pm by Deidre Richardson

Galaxy S3 Mini vs. Galaxy S3 Major

[Photo Credit: Recombu]

The Samsung Galaxy S3 has propelled Samsung to heights in the smartphone market that the company never had in days past. Samsung, in return, has taken Android to a new level of popularity. Although Google has acquired Motorola and seeks to make its own name in the smartphone world, Google is still up and coming. Its LG Nexus 4 shows that the company is not entirely new to hardware, but it is new when compared to Samsung Electronics.

One Android feature that makes the “manly” OS stand out from other operating systems is its wide screen. This year, Android smartphones such as the Galaxy S4 and Sony Xperia Z are going even wider than most with their 5-inch displays. Samsung’s phablets such as the Galaxy Note 1 and 2 have made headlines. When they first emerged on the market, many tech analysts believed that Samsung would fall flat on its face; what happened instead, however, is that Samsung rose above Apple in its smartphone sales and popularity. Even Asian consumers, a new area of sales and market growth, deem Apple as boring and “not popular anymore.”

For one writer, however, Vlad Sovov from The Verge, writes that Android’s large phone displays are a problem for his preferential tastes. “Ask me to name the best mobile operating system out there and my answer would be Android. Ask me to name the best phone, however, and I’d say the iPhone” (Vlad Sovov, “Less is More: there’s an iPhone-sized gap in the Android phone market”; http://www.theverge.com/2013/2/1/3941018/less-is-more-theres-an-iphone-sized-gap-in-the-android-phone-market)/). Sovov says that he prefers the Android for its OS, the iPhone for its size. While this is his personal preference, it shows that Sovov holds to a sentiment that many consumers do. When the iPhone 5 was announced as Apple’s newest smartphone with a 4-inch display, there were many consumers who said that the iPhone 5 would pose a problem for women who have small hands. There are a number of Android female consumers who have smaller hands than those that can hold a 4.8-inch display, but Android consumers rarely complain about display size.

As for my preference, I take a personal liking to larger phone displays. When I first purchased the Samsung Galaxy S3, the size was perfect for me. After I acquired the iPhone 4S, I still like the larger screen size of the S3 – a perfect feature for movie watching while surfing the web. Having watched Law and Order episodes by way of a Hulu Plus subscription on my Galaxy S3 this week, I prefer the larger screen size to watch shows and movies; the iPhone 4S is perfect for reading articles, making phone calls, talking to Siri, and even using the Passbook application. I also use my iPhone 4S to provide 3G cellular service for shows and movies on my S3. It turns out that my iPhone 4S service with T-Mobile has unlimited data, while my S3 has a limited data plan (5GB with US Cellular).

In the future, Android manufacturers must give thought to small screens. The Galaxy S3 Mini is a strong start for Samsung, but other manufacturers (Google, LG, etc.) must come forward with small-size displays so as to appeal to iPhone customers. After Apple’s Q1 2013 results were released, Apple overtook smartphone market share in the US and bypassed Samsung for the first time in 5 years. While Samsung is certain to bypass Apple again, the company could still appease its customers who prefer smaller phones. Since Samsung is committed to providing a smartphone for everyone, smaller screen size will be a step in the right direction.

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