Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is incessantly compared to Samsung in nearly every facet of its business, even in this story yesterday: Apple Users May ‘Hate’ Samsung, But They’re Very Similar, Study Says. The financial media’s fascination with this competition took another form earlier this week on Bloomberg TV‘s “On the Move,” when Barclays‘ Kirk Yang discussed Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s smartphone hardware, and how it stacked up against Samsung.
On the subject, Yang spoke with Rishaad Salamat in Hong Kong about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s apparent weakness against Samsung, at least in the hardware arena. Let’s take a look at the highlights, and his thoughts on the industry at large:
“I think right now we are going through a product transition phase, so we expect to see pretty weak earnings for the first half of this year […] I think that the tech world will have to wait until the second half of this year to see something really exciting”
Yang also discussed Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and the rest of the smartphone makers’ penchant for similarity, saying, “all the smartphones look pretty much the same […] even Samsung’s Galaxy S4–the big event in New York last Friday–was nothing really different.” Yang stated: “going forward, the differentiation is software–the features,” adding that it’s not just about speed, as “faster processors are not always good, because they use too much power consumption […] for hardware, the bigger the screen, the better the resolution, the faster the processor is getting to a limit, so going forward it will be software.”
When asked if Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was “losing it on the product side,” Yang had this to say (emphasis added):
Apple–product side–they have not impressed people at all. Hardware perspective, the iPhone 5 is only 4 inch; I think it’s way too small for most of the users. Samsung’s doing as well as 5, 5.5 [inch]. Apple really [needs] to get its act together; unfortunately, we do not expect to see Apple to have anything bigger than 4-inch this year. So, Apple–hardware perspective–is behind.”
It’s important to note Yang’s sentiment because the general trend in the smartphone space is that ‘bigger is better,’ even regarding the so-called phablet. It’s also notable because there haven’t been too many critics this open about the fact that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone 5 may have been better off at a larger screen size.
Due to the fact that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is one of the favorite investments of the world’s most talented money managers–despite its mammoth selloff–many investors are still optimistic on the tech giant’s future. At Insider Monkey, we track 450 of 8,000-plus hedge fund industry, and many members of this “elite” percentile are still long Apple.