Even the staunchest of Android detractors would be hard-pressed to call the Galaxy S II anything less than a great phone – certainly not us, since Android Community named it the best Android device of 2011. 20 million people can’t be wrong, and the GSMA (the organization that puts on Mobile World Congress in Barcelona every year) would seem to agree. They’ve named the Galaxy S II as the Phone of the Year in their annual competition, with Samsung itself taking Manufacturer of the Year.
On the subject of the phone, the GSMA had this to say: “a phenomenal success around the world, this has outperformed all its Android rivals and demonstrated the maturity of the ecosystem.” Keep in mind that devices announced at the show usually aren’t considered part of the competition, mostly because the vast majority of them won’t reach the market for weeks or months. It’s also worth noting that Samsung was a major boon to the GSMA last year, when it chose Mobile World Congress as the launchpad for the Galaxy S II itself – an honor that, for one reason or another, has been curtailed this year. The Galaxy S III will be revealed at a Samsung-only event some time later in the spring or summer.
It’s not a clean sweep for Samsung: the GSMA awarded the Best Mobile Tablet to Apple for their iPad 2, stating that in both features and sales it defined the market. That too is hard to argue with, since Android tablets have only started to dramatically increase in sales since the last quarter of 2011. That said, it’s a big leap: in the last six months, Android tablets have jumped to around 40% of new tablet sales, mirroring Android’s early rise in the smartphone market. We’ll see how well Apple does next year, when it will undoubtedly sulk in the metaphorical corner by continuing to avoid each and every major trade show.