Posted by Matt Egan 03 March 2015
Samsung: King of the Androids (or MWC, at least)
Face facts Android fans: Samsung is the only phone maker that counts at MWC.
It takes a lot to drag me away from sitting in front of the TV, watching sport on a Sunday afternoon. And, I'm guessing, that is the case for many people, although the more interesting among you may substitute, 'going for a bike ride', 'taking a stroll' or 'washing the car' for my own football-, rugby- and cricket-related gogglebox tendencies.
This past Sunday was different. The sabbath of a few days ago found me and millions more tuning into live webcasts of smartphone launches. I was watching because it is my job to do so, but the numbers of viewers to the live streams and live blogs on the PC Advisor website tell me just how popular were the HTC One M9 and Samsung Galaxy S6 launches. Both trended worldwide on Twitter, which is more than can be said for West Ham vs Crystal Palace. (See also: Galaxy S6 UK release date, price, specs and HTC One M9 review.)
This is not a new phenomenom. Starting with Apple's 2007 iPhone launch, and spreading outside the Apple world with the Galaxy SIII unveiling, smartphone events have become box office. But not all smartphones are made equal. And nor is the mindshare each commands.
The iPhone remains top of the shop. Each new Apple phone melts web servers the world over. Face facts, Android fans - people care more about iPhones than they do any Android.
But the Samsung Galaxy phones are a close-run second. The Galaxy S2 was the first Android we saw that really gripped the imaginations of a large audience of smartphone fans, and the Galaxy SIII launch was the first time that we saw huge traffic for a non-Apple phone launch.
S6 is more than M9
It continues. Despite the plaudits showered upon the new HTC One M9 - and it looks like a truly great handset - it was Sunday's Samsung event that attracted a huge audience. And it continues today - as I write two of the top five stories on PCAdvisor.co.uk are about the Galaxy S6. And this is a website with more than one million pieces of content, on which hundreds of stories are published every day.
We knew this would be the case of course. When, in advance of MWC, we asked readers of PC Advisor 'what product are you most looking forward to hearing about at MWC 2015?', the Galaxy S6 was top with 19 percent of the votes, and the Galaxy S6 second with 13 percent. In a list of 12 products, a third of respondents (more than 1,000 people) chose products with 'Samsung Galaxy S6' in the name. Of the other contenders only the HTC One M9 with 17 percent of the vote, and the non-existant Sony Xperia Z4 (13 percent) were chosen by more than 10 percent of voters.
Fast forward beyond the launches and the latest results stand out even more. The current PC Advisor poll is still in field, and has only 800 respondents. But of those people 58 percent are most interested in either the Galaxy S6 or the Galaxy S6 Edge. Nothing else has more than the HTC One M9's 13 percent.
This doesn't say anything fundamental about how good, bad or indifferent are these products. But the fact remains that outside of the cult of Apple, Samsung remains the big beast about which people care the most. And given Apple's eminently sensible absence from MWC, this means that Samsung rule MWC with ease. (See also: Why Apple is right to avoid MWC.)