Apple Inc. (AAPL): Can Samsung Hit Gold With the Latest Galaxy?

Many observers believe that the S4 will do quite well in 2013. However, it won’t have much of an impact on Apple’s position. The S4 might not be the best smartphone of 2013, but it looks set to beat Apple in smartphone shipments by the end of the year. Even if Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) finishes second, again, a lot of traders are still bullish on Apple as the company aims to hold onto its current market share. After the Galaxy Unpacked event, Samsung’s shares dropped nearly 2.6% while Apple’s stock rose over 2%.

The threat to Apple and Samsung

A lot of analysts are talking about the threat from Samsung to Apple; however, not many have looked at threats to, both, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung. After the S3 proved to be a major hit, other smartphone manufacturers have stepped up and have released their own line of smartphones.

Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) is one of the companies making headlines in the smartphone market, along with Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) and Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK). All three companies are trying to get on the right path and Sony might already be on its way to the top. Sony’s latest Xperia smartphone has been doing quite well in several markets, with U.S consumers eagerly waiting for a release date for Sony’s latest smartphone on a contract. Sony’s latest flagship is a premium Android smartphone, and has similar features in hardware as the Galaxy S4, with design being its strongest element.

Nokia, on the other hand, is trying to gain more market share with its range of Lumia smartphones, targeted at different types of consumers with different budgets. This not only helps Nokia to enter into the race for premium smartphones, but also helps the company to satisfy the needs of consumers with lower pockets.

BlackBerry is also doing well in several different countries, with the smartphone coming to the U.S. on March 22. The company is still struggling in the market after losing significant share to iOS and Android.

Sony, HTC, and Nokia should pose the greatest threat to Apple and Samsung, with other manufacturers like Huawei and LG trying to capture greater market share. This year, competition will be as fierce as ever, mainly because all the latest and upcoming smartphones will be really similar (in hardware specifications).

Verdict

Samsung’s S4 is certainly not the most revolutionary smartphone, and a lot of users might not be willing to update from the Galaxy S3. However, it does feature better hardware and some new software tricks, with Samsung aiming to make its latest offering into another successful release.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), on the other hand, will aim to maintain its decent market share until it releases a cheaper version of the iPhone 5, or the new iPhone 6. 2013 might not be the best year for both giants in terms of increasing total shipments, although, other manufacturers like Sony will aim to improve their position by the end of the year.

The article Can Samsung Hit Gold With the Latest Galaxy? originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Yasir Idrees.

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