Analyst: Samsung to Grow, iPhone Goes Mini

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Samsung's global smartphone sales are set to climb 35 percent in 2013, according to Strategy Analytics, and Apple's response will be the long-rumored iPhone mini. Samsung is expected to hold 33 percent of the world's smartphone market this year, compared to Apple's 21 percent and a less expensive iPhone model could help Apple keep that gap from growing wider.

Apple's iPhone mini gets new life in Strategy Analytics reportStrategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston told Reuters, "We expect Samsung to slightly extend its lead over Apple this year because of its larger multitier product portfolios."

Apple's answer to Samsung's multitier product lineup, Mr. Mawston expects, will be to release a lower cost and smaller version of the iPhone. He said that if Apple ships an iPhone mini, the company could keep Samsung from gaining more smartphone marketshare.

That said, Mr. Mawston isn't expecting Apple to ship the fabled iPhone mini any time this year.

"The iPhone 5 is growing fast and profitably right now, so there is little incentive for Apple to launch an iPhone mini this year," he said. "We expect the iPhone Mini to be more likely next year, in 2014 when...Apple will be forced to discover fresh growth streams."

He also predicted Apple will ship its next iPhone model in May or June, and that the company will add more screen sizes to its lineup. The iPhone 5 offers a 4-inch display, while the iPhone 4 and 4S ship with a 3.5-inch display.

The older iPhones in Apple's lineup are available at substantially lower prices than the iPhone 5, as well. The iPhone 4S starts at US$99 with a new contract, while the iPhone 4 can be picked up for free on contract. Mr. Mawston sees the iPhone mini filling a different low-cost market: pre-paid subscribers.

"We think Apple will have to launch an iPhone mini at some point over the next three years to address the hundreds of millions of prepaid users worldwide that cannot afford the current iPhone," he said.

Smartphone competition between Apple and Samsung has been fierce and has even spilled over into the courtroom as the two companies accuse each other of using their mobile device patents without proper licensing. Apple has also distanced itself from Samsung by cutting back on the chips it buys from the company and moving its custom chip fabrication to other manufacturers.

For now Apple seems content with its iPhone model lineup and hasn't offered up any hints that a mini model is on the way despite Strategy Analytics' belief that it is coming.

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7 Comments Leave Your Own

Intruder

Ummm…. Isn’t this referencing the same article as Jim Tanous’ post earlier?

Jim Tanous

Hi Intruder,

Yes, indeed, both articles reference the same analyst report. There was a bit of a miscommunication between Mr. Gamet and myself this morning; the price of working in different locations!

Thanks for noticing!

Lee Dronick

“a bit of a miscommunication between Mr. Gamet and myself this morning; the price of working in different locations!”

How about synching with each other via iCloud smile

Jim Tanous

It was very sunny here this morning. No clouds of any kind in the sky wink

Lee Dronick

As Joni Mitchell sang

I have looked at iClouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s synch allusions I recall
I really don’t know how at all

David

Apple’s problem, if they have one, isn’t the lack of a mini iPhone, it’s the lack of a maxi iPhone. There is not now and never will be profit in the low cost phone market.

The entire world seems content to let Apple own the premium small phone market. Pretty much every phone smaller than flagship devices use crippled hardware, low screen resolution and (often) old versions of Android. If that ever changes Apple will face competition where, until now, none has really existed.

But Android owns 100% of the large screen market and Samsung owns most of that via relatively high priced, high margin flagship phones that bring in billions of dollars.

There is one other issue that is going to be a huge challenge for Apple. There is a strong belief in Cupertino that uniform interfaces are best, but many customers want their devices, especially those as personal as their smartphone, to reflect their own needs, desires and taste. Both Android and Windows let users easily customize the basic UI in order to make phones more relevant and personal. If Apple sticks with the “one UI to rule them all” attitude they force would-be customers to look elsewhere.

@Lee
iCloud is NOT a collaboration tool. It’s a way for one user to keep multiple devices synchronized. It’s next to useless for anyone who needs to grant edit access to multiple Apple IDs.

Lee Dronick

“iCloud is NOT a collaboration tool. It’s a way for one user to keep multiple devices synchronized. It’s next to useless for anyone who needs to grant edit access to multiple Apple IDs.”

David, I knew that.

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