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What Apple Inc. (AAPL) Upgrades Mean for Top Smartphone Manufacturers

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) added an array of changes to the company’s software that could help bring back the focus on the groundbreaking technology the firm offers.

On June 10, Apple announced several modifications to the software that powers the iPhones and iPads. The changes are aimed at luring buyers away from top competitors Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Samsung.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Features

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook revealed the new version of the iOS, which he said is simpler to use and has various features, including faux-wood bookshelves and simulated paper. The firm also redesigned common applications such as the calendar, email and text messaging.

What it means for Apple

The software that was revamped accounts for about 70% of the company’s sales, and the improvements could attract many of the customers that were choosing other smartphones and tablets. Before the announcement, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares were down by about 35% from September’s high.

Research from Gartner indicates a change was needed. Apple’s iOS made up only 18% of worldwide smartphone shipments in this year’s first quarter, compared to 74% for the Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android.

Apple vs. Google

According to data released by comScore earlier this month, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) increased subscribers over the Google Android even before the announcement. It should be noted, however, that the research is based on active subscribers, rather than market share. The difference in numbers is mainly driven by the lifespan of the devices.

Taking that into consideration, the research looked at this year’s first quarter and found that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) took subscribers away from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). However, Google’s Android was still the top platform for subscribers. In fact Google held 52% of the market after the first three months of this year, but that is down from the 52.3% it held in the previous three-month period.

Google is still in a strong position to compete against the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S4, as the company still owns a majority market share in the platform division. The Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) announcement could turn the tables slightly, but considering the firm’s last iOS upgrade, in which users didn’t note substantial improvements, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) may not need to worry.

Apple vs. Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is in tight competition with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone 5, but Apple’s updates could crown it the winner. The Galaxy S4 actually sold more phones on three of four United States telecom operators in May, according to the Times of India. Those three operators are Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T. The iPhone 5, on the other hand, dominated on the AT&T network. That represents a changing trend from the previous month, when the iPhone 5 was on top with all four operators. The Galaxy S4 was launched on April 26 and has been a hit ever since. Similar to Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), investors shouldn’t worry about Apple’s latest releases, as they aren’t likely significant enough to make much of an impact. However, the stock could experience a negative short-term fluctuation in favor of Apple.

Other Apple upgrades

In the announcement, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) also released a new version of the Mac operating system, Mavericks. The software aims to better integrate iPads and iPhones. Users are able to transfer their passwords, appointments, map directions and other features between their devices. Also, Mavericks is designed to conserve battery life by running on less energy. A new Mac Pro desktop computer was also released and includes improved power capabilities and memory features.

Phillip Woolgar has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Google.

The article What the Apple Upgrades Mean for Top Smartphone Manufacturers originally appeared on Fool.com.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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