No single Google (GOOG) Android-based smartphone on its own has been able to take a bite out of Apple’s (AAPL) success, but Samsung’s new Galaxy S III is the latest to give it a shot. And according to Walt Mossberg, it could challenge the iPhone’s dominance more than competing phones have up until this point.
"If people adopt it, it could become kind of a widely-known brand name and could challenge the iPhone better than other phones have been able to do so in the past," Wall Street Journal Personal Technology Columnist Mossberg told FOX Business in his weekly All Things Digital segment. "This is the first time any of the Android guys have managed to take one phone, one design, one name, one set of features, and get all the U.S. carriers to adopt it without insisting on changes."
Mossberg called the handset a “good phone” and said it did well on major things like making calls, browsing the web, and taking photos. In addition to those basic features, Mossberg said, Samsung threw in 22 little features that are interesting and some might use, but none that he would consider game-changing.
These minor features also require special setup, turning on certain types of Wi-Fi, or only work with other Samsung products, he said. Instead, Mossberg suggested, Samsung should have focused on two major things in terms of special features and really gone all out on them.
Another potential drawback to the smartphone involves the broader Android issue of operating system fragmentation. While Apple products are generally updated seamlessly and the phone company isn’t really involved, with Android, the carriers have a lot of say, which leads to different rates of OS upgrades on the handhelds, so very few Android owners are on the current OS version, he explained. According to Mossberg, Samsung said it couldn’t guarantee the phone would run the next version of Android because it can’t test it.