The Biggest Smartphone Winner of 2013: Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NOK), Google Inc (GOOG)

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). Despite the obvious pressure Samsung’s increasing market share is putting on Google, the company is taking other steps to continue its dominance in the smartphone segment. The release of Google Glass later this year should mark a significant step forward. While the $1,500 price tag makes it unlikely that the product will upturn the smartphone industry, it represents a shift toward wearable technology that gives you a glimpse of where the market is going. Furthermore, IDC recently reported that 2013 would see Android overtake iOS in the tablet segment for the first time ever. This is significant, because as consumers adopt multiple devices, the user experience becomes a “stickier” one.

Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK). Through its partnership with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Nokia is following Samsung’s lead by attacking both the premium and low-cost ends of the wireless market. The company’s flagship Lumia 920 is beginning to make inroads and pick up market share, while the company just released the Lumia 520, the least expensive Windows phone to date. The company does face some challenges from Microsoft’s expanded low-cost strategy, having recently partnered with Huawei Technologies to attack the African market.

The verdict
Ultimately, unless Apple can quickly adapt, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is likely to be the Biggest Smartphone Winner of 2013. The pressure the company is seeing from Samsung will put pressure on its search business, but the company’s business model is expanding as mobile search becomes better defined. If, however, Apple can revamp its strategy and show itself to be a leader again, it has the potential to win. On an investment basis, the huge sell-off is a great opportunity relative to Google that is trading just below its all-time high. Apple controls its own fate, and if it embraces it, the company is poised to win this year.

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Fool contributor Doug Ehrman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Google and owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft.

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