Samsung’s confirmation that the Galaxy Nexus will be on shelves in the UK on November 17th, just 24 hours after the Nokia Lumia 800 goes on sale, suggests we’re going to be in for an almighty ding-dong between these two mobile giants.
Nokia has everything riding on the Lumia 800’s success, while the Galaxy Nexus is the first test of Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich software. Here are five reasons why this battle really matters.
1 Android’s getting a taste of wider competition
For too long, iOS has been Google’s only real competitor. Windows Phone just hasn’t done the business yet, thanks in no small part to HTC, Samsung and the like not marketing their WP7 devices aggressively. Nokia’s push will make this a proper battle. And, in truth, it's one Android has needed to face for some time.
2 Nokia’s finally back in the game
There’s no getting round it: Nokia hasn’t released a mainstream phone to get truly excited about for years. That’s all changing with the Lumia 800.
It’s a gorgeous piece of kit and one that we think will sell by the bucketload. That it goes up against the Galaxy Nexus straight away is a great test of how far the Finns have come.
3 ICS’s success
Google execs have been loudly trumpeting Ice Cream Sandwich’s credentials as the most user-friendly operating system the company has ever made. This is the first chance for consumers to vote with their feet and test the device against a well-designed OS that isn’t made by Apple. Has Google solved past niggles, or is this just a simple reskin?
4 Apple’s opinion
The iPhone 4S might not be directly involved in this fight, but Apple will be taking a keen interest in proceedings. Its sales may not be impacted too badly, but Nokia’s success, as well as Ice Cream Sandwich’s, will tell it just where it needs to train its ire and who really is the biggest threat in the long term.
5 Smartphone users win
Android is getting more competition, as mentioned above. But the real winner from this fight is you, the consumer. The fact that big mobile players are able to square off with equally excellent kit shows that users are getting a great deal. The smartphone market is at last being democratised, as second-rate devices are confined to the dustbin of history.