With handsets like the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S3 expected to drop later this year, it would be fair to say that the market for high-end handsets is anyone’s. But can the same be said of the budget smartphone market? Apple is sticking firmly to the top tier with their annual iPhone release, and many other manufacturers are following suit. It’s beginning to look like the only company with a firm grasp on the low budget end of the market is Samsung. The South Korean giant is set to release a number of promising budget phones in 2012, including the Galaxy Ace 2, the Galaxy Pocket and the Galaxy Mini 2. As you might have gleaned from the names, two of these models are follow-ups to other very popular devices, indicating that Samsung has had a firm foothold in the market for some time.
It’s difficult to think of any other manufacturer with the same level of output on budget smartphones. This year, Sony seems to be gunning for the mid-range crowd, releasing a handful of new Xperia handsets featuring dual-core processors. There has been leaked info on a handset nicknamed the Sony Xperia Tapioca (yuk!), which promises a 3.2MP camera and 800MHz processor, and which locks it firmly into the budget market. If the Sony Xperia X10 Mini is anything to go by, this may well prove to be a huge success – though not enough to corner the market in the way Samsung has.
HTC, like Sony, has released only a few budget handsets. On top of this, they usually fall into a strange valley between budget and mid-range. The HTC Wildfire (and Wildfire S) models, as well as the latest HTC One V, will both set you back a little more than their Samsung rivals. With a 1Gz processor the HTC One V is hardly a basic handset. The other manufacturer that might come to mind when thinking of budget phones is Nokia; currently signed up to release handsets with Windows Phone, an OS which isn’t yet compatible with anything more than single-core technology, one might be forgiven for thinking that Nokia’s Lumia range is all fairly low-budget – this assumption would be wrong however. Only the Lumia 610 is actually a budget model; despite only featuring single core technology, handsets like the Lumia 900 are actually pretty pricey.
And so, we come back to Samsung. With popular budget smartphones having amassed huge sales in recent years, such as the Samsung Galaxy Apollo and the Samsung Galaxy Ace – both of which still sell steadily. By the way – what have they got in store for 2012? Two sequels – the Mini 2 and Ace 2 – will prove testament to the popularity of previous handsets, while there’s also a brand new model – the Samsung Galaxy Pocket. With the Ace 2 apparently set to be one of the better budget handsets of 2012. All three are coming in at around £100 or less, and it’s difficult to see any real competition for Samsung in this market. However, the Orange-branded smartphones, such as the Santa Clara and San Francisco II, can make a name for themselves this year. It seems a long shot though, because in the present climate, the smart money is always going to be on Samsung.
This post was provided by Simon from Best Mobile Contracts, the leading mobile phone comparison in the United Kingdom.