Apple’s iPhone 6 could launch earlier than expected
A few days back, DigiTimes published a report claiming that Foxconn is expected to land orders for 90 million Apple (AAPL) iPhone 6 units this year alone. Now, China Times claims the Pegatron supplier has also won iPhone 6 orders from Apple. If we assume these claims to be true, it could mean that Apple is slated to launch the iPhone 6 sooner than expected. The company could launch the iPhone 6 in September or earlier this year, given that it launched the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C in September last year.
Apple and Samsung gained market share last quarter
As per the above chart, Apple’s share in the U.S. smartphone market increased from 40.6% in October 2013 to 41.6% in January 2014, while Samsung’s share (SSNLF) increased from 25.4% to 26.7% during the same period. LG managed to increase its market share, while Motorola—which was recently sold by Google (GOOG) to China’s Lenovo (LNVGY)—and HTC (HTCKF) market share declined. Analysts attributed Apple’s market share gain to the launch of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C in September last year, while Samsung gained without any major new launch.
The iPhone 6 will help Apple by challenging Samsung’s Galaxy S5
Samsung is planning to launch the new smartphone of its Galaxy series, the Galaxy S5, in May this year. We had discussed Samsung’s Galaxy S5 prospects in the Market Realist series Why contract upgrades from Samsung’s Galaxy S3 could help S5 sales. In this article, we discussed how the timing of the Galaxy S5 launch was perfect, as it will give an opportunity for Galaxy S3 users to upgrade since their two-year contracts would be about to expire.
To combat the threat of the Galaxy S5, Apple must launch the iPhone 6 as soon as possible. If it delays the launch of the iPhone 6, this would mean Samsung could easily eat into Apple’s market share—at least in 2014.