Amid much fanfare, Samsung released the new Galaxy S4 in New York’s Radio City Music Hall Thursday. However, analyst Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets has said that despite all that hype, the new handset cannot be considered as a “game changer.” He opines that the upcoming “iPhone 5S” will be an outperformer and will “handily outsell” the Galaxy S4 when it launches later this year.
White is quite impressed with one particular feature of the Samsung Galaxy S4 – the Super AMOLED display, with a pixel density of 441 per inch, which is quite superior than the iPhone 5’s pixel density of 326 per inch. But when it comes to the rest of the device, White seems disappointed and describes it as “heavier, fatter and less refined than the iPhone 5,” AppleInsider has reported.
Comparing form factors of both the devices, White says that the iPhone 5 is 18 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter than the iPhone 4S, while the Galaxy S4 is only 8 percent thinner and 2 percent lighter than the Galaxy S3. He has also criticized the Galaxy S4’s plastic casing, saying that it’s “no match” for the aluminum casing of the iPhone 5.
"We are amazed by how analysts and the media have turned on Apple during the recent stock downdrafts with statements that Samsung is 'out-innovating' Apple," AppleInsider has quoted White as saying. "One would believe that Samsung is crushing Apple in the mobile phone market. We believe this is complete nonsense."
Analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray also seems to be unmoved by the latest Samsung smartphone. Characterizing the Galaxy S4 as an "evolutionary" update, Munster estimates that iPhone will still be able to maintain its share in the high-end smartphone market throughout 2013.
The analyst says that with the Galaxy S4, Samsung has followed Apple’s way of releasing the “S” models of the iPhone that were comparatively minor hardware upgrades.
"While the S4 is likely to be the iPhone's biggest competitor this year at the high-end of the market, we remain confident in our iPhone estimate for this year of 177.5 million, which includes a cheaper phone in the September quarter," says Munster. "We view the S4 as unlikely to meaningfully impact iPhone share of the high-end over the full year, but do expect it to take share from other Android phones."
Apple Needs To Hasten Pace Of Smartphone Design
According to another analyst, Charles Golvin with Forrester, while Apple is not far behind, what it needs “to respond to is the cadence of their own releases, probably a completely new design every two years and a sort of speed bump every year is not an adequate cadence for Apple to remain at the forefront of smartphone innovation today,” Reuters has reported.
Given Samsung’s ability to innovate, the Cupertino tech giant might be forced “to finally make its own assault on the lower-end of the market that it has famously stayed away from -- not least to get into untapped markets like China and India,” adds the report.
There has been a consensus building up that Apple can enter the fast-growing markets like India and China by riding on a cheaper iPhone model. However, there is also a risk that a low-cost version may result in lesser demand for the premium version of the device.
But if Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes’ comment is to be considered, Samsung's growing momentum is a major issue for Apple, which can make the company to launch a lower-end iPhone globally this summer.