As holidaymakers increasingly demand connectivity, more and more of us pack our favourite devices with us when we travel. And we now expect our mobile phones to do much more than make a call. Brands like Apple, Nokia and Samsung are household names in the UK, but where did they come from?
For a smartphone manufacturer to be able to conquer the global market it must first cement itself as a trusted brand in its own region. As more companies continue to bring new wares to the table its becoming increasingly difficult for manufacturers to stand out in a market that is quickly filling up with devices, packed with high-end specs and innovation.
Here we visit the home of five of the top phone makers to see how theyre managing to shape up in such a competitive arena.
Apple - America
Apples iPhone 5 is the current flagship from the Cupertino manufacturer, and it has no doubt helped the company strengthen its place as the top smartphone vendor in the US, holding 39% of the total market.
The US is one of the largest mobile markets in the world and as a native company this gives Apple a huge advantage over its competitors, particularly in terms of building a trustworthy and popular brand. Over the years Apple has reaped success in all corners of the globe, and during its recent keynote address at the Worldwide Developers Conference the firm revealed that it has sold 600 million iOS devices to date.
This figure includes iPods, iPads and iPod Touches, as well as its hugely successful range of smartphones, and marks a significant jump from 350 million devices the company reportedly sold last year.
BlackBerry - Canada
Its no secret that BlackBerry hasnt had it easy over the last few years but this year the firm has already launched three new handsets running its new Blackberry 10 mobile platform. These include the full touchscreen flagship, the Z10, the QWERTY-toting Q10 and its smaller, less spec-heavy sibling, the Q5.
While the company may still be looking to boost its brand recognition across the globe it has achieved great success in Canada, where some stores reportedly sold out of the Z10 and Q10 during their first few days on sale.
The US is perhaps BlackBerrys biggest hurdle, and with the likes of Apple continuing to rule the roost in its home market, the Canadian manufacturer could have quite a battle on its hands.
HTC - Taiwan
Taiwan is home to several smartphone manufacturers but HTCs flagship of 2013, the HTC One, is a device that really stands out from the crowd, combining premium style with heaps of functionality.
The handsets aluminium form factor is continuing to earn it even more praise having recently been awarded the Best Smartphone of 2013 at the Computex electronics show, an annual event held in its home country.
The phone maker is already seeing an increase in profits, with its latest report indicating a 48% rise in sales between April and May. HTCs popularity around Asia is increasing and research firm IDC claims that it is now the fifth largest smartphone manufacturer in Japan. This is a huge feat for the firm and one that looks set to help boost these latest figures even further.
Nokia - Finland
The Finnish manufacturer was once the leading name in the mobile space but over the past few years has appeared to struggle to keep up with the quantity and quality of new mobile phones coming to the fore.
That said its Lumia range of handsets is still making waves and recent figures from analysts at IDC have revealed that its Windows Phone-toting devices account for almost 80% of Windows Phone sales, helping to make it the third largest in the world.
Its most recent handset, the Lumia 925, is a new interpretation of its predecessor and the companys former flagship, the Lumia 920.
Nokia is also being tipped to host a special event in July where it is expected to unveil a new camera-heavy device, rumoured to be the Nokia Lumia EOS. The handset will mark the arrival of the firms PureView camera technology in the Lumia range as well as a 41 megapixel lens. If true the handset could be just what Nokia needs to put Finland and its brand alike back on the mobile map.
Samsung - Korea
With more mobile devices under its belt than many of its rivals Samsung has quickly become a big name in the smartphone world. Its flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S4, broke all previous sales records as 10 million units flew off the shelves less than a month after it first hit the market.
The Galaxy S4 may not have the stylish looks of the HTC One, but underneath its polycarbonate shell lies a wealth of new software innovations that transform the device into a life companion (as Samsung calls it). As such, it is capable of doing everything from monitoring your health and well-being to pausing videos when you look away from the display.
Samsung is said to be Koreas most valuable company and with various iterations of the device in the making its dominance there and in many other countries is sure to continue.
So, next time youre jetting off on your travels have a think about where the other gadgets stuffed into your suitcase have come from.Top