MWC names Galaxy S II best smartphone, iPad 2 best tablet

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The Mobile World Congress on Tuesday announced the winners of the 17th Annual Global Mobile Awards, with Samsung dubbed Manufacturer of the Year for its Galaxy S II Smartphone of the Year, while Apple's iPad 2 took home Tablet of the Year honors.

The four-day GSMA event held in Barcelona is the world's largest mobile industry exhibition and conference, and includes talks from industry leaders, a showcase of the newest mobile devices and presentations of future technology. At the conclusion of each MWC, awards are given for the leaders in a variety of categories covering mobile apps, services and hardware.

This year, Korean electronics monolith Samsung not only left MWC as the world's best hardware maker, but also dethroned previous smartphone champ Apple, which won Smartphone of the Year for its iPhone 4.

The win is indicative of the strong sales Android handset makers are currently enjoying around the globe, and Samsung has proven to be a leading partner for the platform.

While Apple has seen a great deal of success with the iPhone, even taking the crown as the world's largest smartphone manufacturer, the proliferation of devices running Google's Android OS has been overwhelming.

Recent statistics put Android way ahead of the pack as it gobbled up 50.9 percent of the market in 2011. In comparison, second place Apple's iOS managed only a 23.8 percent market despite growing some 8 percent year to year.

Just as Android continues to rule the handset market, so does the iPad with its complete domination of the tablet space.

During the fourth quarter of 2011, Apple shipped an estimated 18.7 million iPads to take 59.1 percent of all tablet sales for the period. The huge humber eclipses number two tablet maker Amazon, which eked out a 16.7 percent share with its new Kindle Fire.

When iPad and MacBook shipments for the 2011 holiday quarter are combined, Apple garnered 26.6 percent of the mobile PC market which is nearly triple the share of next-closest HP. The Cupertino, Calif., company pulled ahead of HP as the world's number one PC vendor in January.