Samsung Galaxy S III: Even iPhone users should take a look

The Samsung Galaxy S III could be the first Android to convert masses of iPhone users to Google's mobile OS.

Samsung Galaxy S III: First Android smartphone to induce lust among iPhone users.
Samsung Galaxy S III: First Android smartphone to induce lust among iPhone users. (Photo: The Verge)

Big expectations and the Samsung Galaxy S III were synonymous for the better part of this year, leading up to the flagship Android’s announcement in London earlier this month. So far, Samsung appears to have nailed it. The smartphone is receiving glowing reviews (The Verge: “Unequaled performance” 8.5/10). Pre-orders are through the roof and reportedly the “most ever for an Android phone.

But perhaps what’s most interesting about this highly anticipated smartphone from Samsung is that it could be the first Android to convert masses of iPhone users to Google’s mobile OS.

Anecdotally I’ve heard from more than one friend, and seen several posts on Twitter and Facebook about disgruntled users potentially making the switch from an iPhone to the S III. In addition to calling it the best Android on the market, the Telegraph suggests that “even iPhone users should take a look.”

I don’t expect a sea change, and, no question, Apple’s not about to go the way of the Palm anytime soon (or ever). Still, there’s a sense that with Google’s impending self-branded Android 5/tablet launch, and the incredible demand seen with this Samsung smartphone, that the potential to score market share hits against Apple is not the impossibility many suspect.

There’s several reasons why iPhone users are converting to the Samsung S III:

1. Screen Size

Want a bigger screen than 3.5-inches? Scratch the iPhone off your list. It only comes in one size (but two colors!). Meanwhile Android is a Vegas buffet by comparison with sizes available across several manufacturers all the way up to the Galaxy Note’s 5.3-inches (also available in two colors!).

2. Android is finally as easy to use as iOS

In the early days, circa 2009-2010, Android was a techy stew. Not so today. Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” (though penetration is still extremely low) and even its far more popular predecessor Android 2.3.x “Gingerbread” have made significant inroads in ease-of-use. Better still Google’s app market (now called Google Play) finally does not feel like walking through a bad neighborhood.

3. Android is more customizable, personable

Widgets are a huge plus for Android. They allow you to be more productive. For example, you can add CNN headlines to your homescreen, or the weather forecast, or the latest sports scores. There are thousands of possibilities, none of which are available on the iPhone which instead offers only a boring grid of icons.

4. Speed

Android, and the Samsung S III in particular, bests the iPhone 4S in two ways when it comes to speed. First, overall performance, thanks to a quad-core processor, is simply unparalleled. It blows the iPhone away (Google the benchmarks for the nitty gritty). Beyond that, there’s 4G/LTE. Blazing cellular data speeds are not available to iPhone users who are stuck with the markedly slower 3G service. Sad that.

5. Slim is in

Hold an iPhone 4S next to a Samsung Galaxy S III (or even the S II), and you’ll immediately notice something surprising: the iPhone is a chunky little bugger. In fact the iPhone 3 line, thanks to its elegantly rounded case, could be considered the better design. When it comes to slim there’s no beating Android; the Moto RAZR led the charge earlier this year, and now the S III too proves that you needn’t carry a small brick around to get terrific performance.

Beyond these features and design differences, there’s something else in play.

At CES in January we heard one Android maker after another say they’d launch fewer models. 2011 was a mess when it came to new Android smartphones. Consumer confusion reigned supreme, and many (including myself) kept waiting “just a few more weeks” for the next big thing to hit our local Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile stores. In fact, I’m still running an OG Moto Droid (2009) and now an eager to upgrade to the S III el pronto. Thankfully manufacturers are slowing the release cycle. It’s important to avoid flooding the market, not only to prevent consumers from delaying buying decisions, but also for putting marketing muscle behind individual model launches.

Case in point: this very Samsung Galaxy S III.

Like Apple, Samsung is releasing a new model only once per year. The result is laser focus. These press release/presentation style launches were invented by Steve Jobs and Apple, and have proved hugely successful in building excitement, generating buzz, garnering headlines. I suspect Google will do something similar with Android 5 and its self-branded 7-inch tablet (Asustek) that we should see next month.

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  • iKing_5

    (Yawn) Same old crap from Fandroids….

    • suniksjunk

      But it is not the same, Mr. Stark reinforces his points with hard undeniable facts re innovative specs/design and thus making a strong case why iSheeps may want to reconsider to avoid the watery grave of the RIM followers, say no to the pied piper.

      • DominikSzewczyk

        Calling people names is a sign of weakness. (So is the latest ditch effort commercial from Samsung – wait, that was desperation.) People will buy what they want to buy. I always encourage people to try out new products (iOS and Android). What’s it to you? Does it really bother you so much? I keep seeing these posts (from both sides), and I never understood this.

        • suniksjunk

          Samsung is the number 1 cell phone company in the world currently, it overtook Nokia, so I hardly would call them desperate. In fact, I think desperation move is from Apple, or do you not know that there are multiple suits by Apple against pretty much all Android based companies. These suits are, yes, based on patent infringement but what is more galling is the fact that they are suing in front of ITC which would forbid Android companies to even bring their products into this country. It is one thing to say that hey you are copying us, it is another to say please don’t let them come to the dance at all, i.e., in essence called monopoly. Since you fail to understand the issues at hand, perhaps do some research before positing.

          • iKing_5

            You’re the one that needs to do some research, fandroid. As a publicly traded company, it is not only Apple’s right but it is their responsibility to their shareholders to defend their legally awarded copyrights, patents and trademarks. It is so intellectually lazy to claim that Apple is trying to create a monopoly by attempting to ban products that violate their IP. Apparently even your precious Google understands this as well:
            http://news.cnet.com/Google-sues-Froogles.com/2100-1030_3-5676955.html
            Notice when you read the article that not only did Google sue this company, but they asked the courts to SHUT THEM DOWN.

            Apple, or any other company for that matter, after investing millions in R&D and producing expensive prototypes, should not be forced to allow lazy companies to come along and profit off of their hard work. Competition is fine, but a company should not have to compete against their own IP….get a clue

      • iKing_5

        Dude if you think that I’m envious of that oversized, plastic, malware-infested pretend iPhone then you are seriously off your rocker. I wouldn’t be caught dead with that iPhony…..pleeeease

        • suniksjunk

          Well said, and thanks for demonstrating my point again.

          • iKing_5

            You’re welcome! Now run along and play with your oversized piece of plastic with its cesspool of an app store and laggy interface :)

          • suniksjunk

            At every reply you strengthen my argument, so once again thank you for your support.

          • iKing_5

            If only you HAD an argument to begin with….

          • suniksjunk

            Note, this shall be my last comment to you as you are a waste of time since you cannot seem to comprehend. Accordingly, again thank you even for your last comment as it proves my argument that iSheeps like yourself, not all, blindly without logic or merit defend technology/company that has fallen behind the standard, for pete’s sake it doesn’t even have 4G (AT&T HSPA is not 4G, it is just another marketing ploy) or have the option to attach file within Mail reply. Why do you defend? Most likely because it is pretty and also white, perhaps it is cool to whip out your iPhone, iMac, iPad, etc. at your local Starbucks and pretend you are working. But for those of us adults in the real world, reasoning matters, money matters, and functionality matters.

          • iKing_5

            Ok I’ll modify my last statement; If only you had an argument that someone other that geek-bubble dwellers like yourself really cared about….I prefer a phone that isn’t plastic, is smaller than a VHS video tape, has an app store that isn’t choc-full of malware, has the best and largest selection of apps, is secure enough to be widely adopted in the enterprise (my company now uses them), and gets updates the same day they are released instead of waiting months for an ice cream sandwich that has now turned into milk….

            Have a nice day :-)

    • Th3rub3x

       Same old iGnorance.

    • ringsgeek

      Good little sheep, baa baa….

      • iKing_5

        Good little aGoat, baa baa…

        • ringsgeek

           I’m neither.  I have an iPhone 4S, Genius.  You just make us all look bad.  IT’S JUST A PHONE.

          • iKing_5

            Well then I have a suggestion for you: drop the “US” and speak for yourself like I do. That way you don’t have to worry about what MY opinion is….got it??

          • ringsgeek

            You’re so impressive – I CAN TYPE IN CAPS TOO! :-). Grow up, you big baby. I’ll say it again: it’s just a phone.

          • iKing_5

            Here’s a quote from YOU, fandroid:

            “I, a longtime iPhone user with a 4S, cannot freaking wait to ditch Apple for this beauty! Rock on, Samsung…way to kick Crapple’s ass!”

            Pretty strong words from someone who believes “it’s just a phone”, don’t you think???

            Hypocrite…. :-)

          • ringsgeek

            What a wonderful name-caller you are!  I commend you.  Good little iSheep.  I am excited about the change from APPLE to SAMSUNG.  I cordially invite you to return to (or in fact start) school so that you can understand contextual implications.  I am tired of Apple’s walled-garden approach, overpricing and continued arrogance in handcuffing their users.  I am simply expressing my excitement over freedom, and SAMSUNG allows me to do that, not Apple.  Nice try, Mr. Name-Caller Smiley-Face User.  What are you, 8?

          • iKing_5

            Blah blah blah….you stepped into a pile of sh*t with your “it’s just a phone” comment and now that I’ve called you on it, you’ve gone into full damage control. Just pay attention to what you say so you won’t come off looking so stupid next time, ok? Ok… :-)

          • ringsgeek

            “Blah blah blah”.  Hmm.  Truly indicative of your janitor vernacular where large words fail you.  Boy it must be nice to have all this time to post moronic and cyclical name-calling-laden comments.  I urge you to do something with your life, though I don’t hold much hope for you.  Good luck!

          • iKing_5

            Translation: I really don’t have a valid rebuttal because I did step into a pile of sh*t with my comment..

          • ringsgeek

            HARK!  EVERYONE BEHOLD IKING_5, TRUMPETEER AND UNIVERSAL HERALD AND BANNER-BEARER FOR TRUTH!  HEAR YE HEAR YE! PREPARE TO BE WOWED AND AMAZED BY SUCH VERBAL PROWESS!  WITNESS THE RACONTEUR AT WORK!  BEHOLD HIS MAJESTY!  I PRESENT TO YOU IKING_5 WITH YET ANOTHER MESMERIZING REPLY!  DRINK DEEP THE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF PLANET EARTH’S MOST DIMWITTED AND TIME-WASTING INDIVIDUAL!  ALL HAIL!  HAIL!  HAIL!!!!!

          • ringsgeek

            WITNESS THE INFALLIBLE LOGIC AND STAND IN AWE OF THE BULLETPROOF TRUTH, COMPLETELY DEVOID OF ANY POSSIBILITY OF MORONIC IDIOCY!  BASK IN THE GLORY OF HIS JANITORIAL (SINCE HE DIDN’T DENY IT) PROWESS AND INDEFATIGABLE WORDPLAY!!!!!  PRAISE HIM!!  PRAISE HIM WITH THE HARP & LYRE!  PRAISE HIM!!!!!!!!!!

          • ringsgeek

            WORSHIP HIM IN HOLINESS AND TRUTH!  BASK IN HIS GLORY!!!  FOR HE IS IMPERVIOUS AND INCONTROVERTABLE IN EVERY WAY!!!!  ALL HAIL IKING_5, MAJESTIC 8TH WONDER OF THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!

          • iKing_5

            Translation: I continue to make myself look stupid by calling iKing_5 a time waster, while I continue to waste time replying to his comments. I guess I have too much time on my hands, PLUS the fact that I have no valid rebuttal… Boy I’m such a loser

          • ringsgeek

            AGAIN, PRAISE IKING_5!  BANNER-BEARER AND HERALD FOR ABSOLUTE TRUTH!  INFALLIBLE IN EVERY WAY!!!  BOW BEFORE HIM!!  WORSHIP HIM!!!  GRANDIOSE SPLENDOUR ENVELOPS HIM…WORSHIP HIM!!  PRAISE HIM!!! FALL BEFORE HIS GREATNESS!!!

          • ringsgeek

            PS, this is fun!  Thank you for the uproarious laughter – we’re having a great day at your expense.  Cheers and good luck with your sanity!

          • ringsgeek

            STAND IN AWE OF HIS UNADULTERATED VERACITY AND GAZE UPON HIS UTTER WISDOM – FOR STRENGTH AND TRUTH ARE IN HIS HANDS!!!  ALL HAIL IKING_5!  ALL HAIL IKING_5!!!!!!!  PERFECT IN ALL HIS GLORIOUS MAJESTY, FOR HE HAS LAID BARE THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORLD AND UTTERED THINGS UNSPOKEN SINCE THE DAWN OF THE AGES!!!  POWER AND MIGHT ARE HIS!!!  GLORY AND SPLENDOUR ARE HIS!!!!  PRAISE HIM!!!  PRAISE HIM!!!!!!!!  BOW BEFORE HIS MIGHT AND ABSOLUTE STALWART NATURE AND PROWESS!!!!!!!  PRAISE HIM!!!!!!!

          • iKing_5

            Somebody’s got a LOT of time on their hands! :-) You may as well glue that sh*t to your foot bcuz u sure keep stepping in it! Lol!!

          • ringsgeek

            YES!!!!!!!  Another beautiful post from the almighty iKing-5!!!!!!!!  ***sound of uproarious laughter here***.  Nice usage of “LOL” – you truly are 8, aren’t you.  Loving this!  :-)

          • iKing_5

            Obviously comedy is not your strong point….don’t quit your day job bro! Yikes!

          • ringsgeek

            “Bro?”  “BRO!?!?!?”  ***sound of uproarious laughter once again.***  You, sir, are the most enjoyable laughter I’ve had in months at your impudence, arrogance, and retardation.  Get well soon!  :-)

          • iKing_5

            All of your phony laughter and horribly bad jokes cannot mask the fact that u stepped in a pile of sh*t and got embarrassed for doing so….I would give you the obligatory “Nice try” but it really wasn’t….it was God-awful in fact. Again, don’t quit your day job! (that is if you have one) :-)

          • ringsgeek

            WOW.  Somebody sure likes to talk about sh*t alot!  You should get that looked at, oh wonderfully pathetic and useless lifeform that has nothing better to do with his day!  I suggest you get a job and stop trolling the internet from your mother’s basement!  We self-employed people do love engaging you subhumans here and there too, it tickles our fancy.  :-)

          • iKing_5

            Self-employed=Unemployed

          • ringsgeek

            So says the defeatist mindset and a true loser.  I wish you good luck in life, you’re sure going to need it if you think self-employment is akin to unemployment!  With your janitor income, I’m sure you’ll at least be able to afford saltine crackers while I’m sipping on Dom Perignon and eating lobster.  Toodles!

          • iKing_5

            No, YOUR self employment is equal to unemployment….it’s ok to admit that you’re unemployed. You don’t have to pretend that you run some successful business or that the bologna and kool-aid that you frequently consume are Dom Perignon and Lobster….it’s ok

          • ringsgeek

            Whatever delusional fantasy you want to keep telling yourself is fine, youngster. No worries. Again, get well soon! Always enjoy chuckling at your stupidity and skewed outlook on life! :). As always, get well soon, and you might want to lay off your crack pipe, yeah? Ok, good lad.

          • iKing_5

            If there are no worries, then why do u keep responding to a “youngster”?? You look more stupid with each response, continually taking the bait. What a moron, who has yet to make a valid rebuttal to the point made earlier before you decided to return to the 3rd grade with your feeble attempt at humor…keep it up please

          • ringsgeek

            Sure will, count on it. Anytime there is ridiculously in the world (you), I’ll be glad to rise up and providers obligatory bitchslap.

          • iKing_5

            If what you’ve provided is your idea of a bitchslap then you need to eat your Wheaties! The only one you’ve bitchslapped is yourself (still waiting on a valid rebuttal….don’t worry, I know you’re incapable! I’ll let you off the hook!) :-)

          • ringsgeek

            An idiotic moron will reply to this post. Just watch.

          • ringsgeek

            Or …he’ll create a new post in the mad hopes that he can avoid being labeled…but it will quite obviously be a continuation of the existing thread. Watch the predictably idiotic moron, folks!

          • ringsgeek

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

          • iKing_5

            *still waiting*

          • ringsgeek

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

          • iKing_5

            *still waiting for a valid rebuttal*

          • ringsgeek

            And in competent, and highly irrational fool will reply to this message. Watch!

          • iKing_5

            An incompetent, highly irrational fool spells incompetent as “in competent”
            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

          • ringsgeek

            Using a phone, genius. ;)

          • iKing_5

            NO WONDER WHY I CAN’T GET AN INTELLIGENT RESPONSE!!! HE’S TOO “IN COMPETENT”!!!

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

          • ringsgeek

            A moron says what?

          • iKing_5

            “IN COMPETENT”!!!
            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

          • ringsgeek

            Well this is been an absolute blast, I appreciate you engaging me with your low intellect and your rabid persistence on delirium. Thank you for a gigantic but intensely amusing waste of time. I’m going to let the moronic janitor-minded superhero have the last word, since obviously he has absolutely nothing better to do than to fire off Fanboy rants from the comfort of his mother’s basement since his life has become such a sad sad sorry story. You’ve proven and we proven my point about the fact that you’re an idiotic loser and moron just by simply replying to my posts. I need to say no more. Watch whoever replies to this post and attempts to get the last word proves that they are a moron. Wait for it… Wait for it…

          • iKing_5

            Psst…..hey ringsgeek….nice try, but you STILL haven’t provided a valid rebuttal!

          • iKing_5

            How about now??? Surely you’ve had enough time! :-)

          • iKing_5

            Now???? Still no intelligent response to my original point????

          • iKing_5

            Now???? You’re kidding! You’re that dumb??? Really???? Ok I’ll leave you be….just make sure you bring it next time!! :-)

          • ringsgeek

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

          • iKing_5

            *still waiting on an intelligent response*

          • ringsgeek

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

          • iKing_5

            *still waiting*

          • ringsgeek

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

          • iKing_5

            *still waiting on any sign of intelligence*

          • ringsgeek

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

          • iKing_5

            *looks under the bed* “Still no sign of intelligent life….”

          • ringsgeek

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

          • iKing_5

            *STILL waiting*

          • ringsgeek

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

          • iKing_5

            *Still waiting….begins to think that an intelligent comment from the fandroid is an exercise in futility*

          • ringsgeek

            A moron will reply to this post. Watch!!!

  • Sam

    Having the SG3 will be a new experience.

  • Curtis Coburn

    i still want the next nexus

  • Graham Parkes

    Many of my friends and acquaintances, a who where previous iPhone users already made the switch to Android with the Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Note. In the end, they found iOS too restrictive and the iPhone hardware lacking, due to the small screen, non-removable battery and lack of expandable memory.

    • ringsgeek

      … and don’t forget arrogant, overpriced, and the “walled garden” approach…

  • John Morris

    This is the truth.  This was a great article.

  • DominikSzewczyk

    Android 4.0 is not easy to use. It’s great for techies, but definitely not easier than iOS. 

    It’s a back and forth race. Samsung now and Apple in a few months. The key is to stick to something you like (iOS or Android). Personally, I like the overall experience and integration of iOS. Most people walk from Android to iOS, and not the other way around. Even if they do it the other way, they seem to come back. The reason is the overall experience. I hope the III S takes off because competition is great for the consumer, however, I highly doubt it — at least not until it’s iphone 6 time. After the 5, it’s going to be a toss up.

    • Milind

       I see exactly the opposite with my friends.  Obviously anecdotal, but most of my friends have switched from iPhone to Android.  A couple have gone the other way, but even they liked their Android phones and they switched prior to ICS.  I switched 3 years ago and I can’t
      even imagine going back to the iPhone – the way it exists today.  The
      gap just keeps getting wider and wider.  Every new release of the iPhone
      narrows the gap for a couple of months and then it starts growing again.  At this stage, the UX and hardware of Android phones is several notches beyond iOS and the iPhone.

      • DominikSzewczyk

        To date, I have tried many “Androids,” up to the Galaxy SII. I’m in the tech field and I get crap from my co-workers for using the iPhone (there hasn’t been an android that has wowed me enough to permanently switch). All of them are Android and Blackberry people. However, most of the non-techies I know use iPhones (regular folk). If I see my friends using an android phone, it’s because it was free. Now, with the iPhones being cheaper (older models), I’m seeing a trend for more friends switching over to iOS.

        The overall experience (everything included) of Android devices is unpolished. Don’t get me wrong, you can do a lot of tinkering a cool stuff but, at the end of the day, is cumbersome. Specs and techs may matter to you and I, but for most it’s the experience. Samsung (I’m picking on them as an example) sells hardware. Apple sells experience. Plain and simple.

        Market share for Apple is strong, I Believe. And, I say Apple (not iOS) because it is foolish and illogical to compare an operating system to a hardware device (ie:. comparing Android phones to iPhone). The media does a really good job of this, not knowing any better.

        Apple’s marketing machine is unbeatable. This cannot be said enough. I mean this literally. Samsung does not stand a chance. I am not saying this to dilute Apple products in any way, but I highly doubt this will steal iPhone’s show, at least not for a couple of years.

        • Milind

          There are a few things that Apple’s done well with iOS.  It’s smooth as silk (although newer versions of iOS on older iPhones suck eggs), you get an upgrade directly from Apple with no middlemen adding crapware on the phone and preventing an OS update and by and large the user experience through out the phone is fairly consistent.

           It’s interesting that you didn’t like the Galaxy SII.  It’s the one phone that is just as smooth as the iPhone.  Even the Galaxy Nexus occasionally stutters and freezes while scrolling through lists.  Not being able to update to the latest OS is quite simply the worst thing about Android and is the real fragmentation.  As a developer I don’t find writing a single app that spans various phones and versions particularly cumbersome.  The real challenge is testing it on various devices.  But really not a big deal.  As a user, I’m absolutely delighted with the vast choices I have across devices and the fact that I can pick out a phone that comes as close to *my* desired features as possible.  The last I don’t care about.  I’ll happily trade the consistency for the enormous power and flexibility that I get from Android as a whole and the apps.  As a power user, I constantly found myself chafing on the limits imposed on me by iOS.  I truly find the UX on Android to be significantly more usable and productive than the iPhone.  And that goes for the tablets as well.  I’m just as delighted with my Transformer Prime as I was disappointed with the iPad.

  • ringsgeek

    I, a longtime iPhone user with a 4S, cannot freaking wait to finally ditch Apple for this beauty! Rock on, Samsung…way to kick Crapple’s ass!