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Message to Apple Inc. (AAPL) Investors: Don’t Panic About the Galaxy S4

Apple Inc. (AAPL)LONDON — On the cover of Douglas Adams’ book, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” are the words DON’T PANIC, written in large, friendly letters. That’s advice Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shareholders would do well to follow as the tech world enthuses over Samsung’s new phone, the Galaxy S4.

Samsung has stolen a march on its rival, with a jazzy product packed with new gizmos such as automatic scrolling when you read to the end of a page, no-touch gesture control, and video that pauses when you look away.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shareholders should brace themselves for a lot of Apple bashing that will likely become worse when the first sales figures for the new Galaxy are reported.

So it’s worth taking a deep breath and reviewing the long-term investment case for Apple.

1. Apple has a big market share in a growing industry
Apple and Samsung don’t just cannibalize each other’s sales. The potential for growth in emerging markets is massive, and developed market growth hasn’t yet run out of steam. Gartner, a respected technology research firm, has predicted that the smartphone market will double between 2011 and 2014.

Nor is having the top spot what really matters. I believe having a big market share counts more.

2. Apple innovates
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) isn’t a one-product firm, and past growth has come from its ability to innovate and market effectively. Having a tough competitor doesn’t strip the company of that ability, and it might even sharpen it.

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