In an interview with the Wall Street Journal this week, Apple's (AAPL) Peter Schiller, Senior Vice President of Marketing, more or less disparaged Samsung (SSNLF) and Google's (GOOG) Android operating system on which its phones run, when he complained about the fragmentation of the devices compared to iOS’s seamless integration. He also passed off Android as a “free replacement” for feature phones.
The comments were made after a 2012 during which mobile phones powered by Android leaped over Apple’s iPhone on the global market. Furthermore, market research firm IDC is predicting a 2013 that will see Android-run tablets out-ship Apple iPads.
Samsung representatives have opted not to comment as yet, preferring perhaps to let the Galaxy S4, which boasts features such as a larger screen and a longer-lasting battery, do the talking for itself at Thursday’s event. As it is, the company’s Galaxy S3 powered by the Android operating system has become the face of Apple’s previously unfathomable competition.
No discussion of this subject can omit the fact that Apple’s stock has plummeted in the last few months. Shares have lost over 19 percent of their value year-to-date, and nearly 40 percent over the last six months. While the company still dominates the smartphone market in the U.S., the prohibitive cost of the phone as well as the perceived redundancy of its design is providing opportunities for the competition that it did not previously have.
To this must be added an overall sense of frustrated expectation with the company’s lack of a new innovative product over the last few years, at least one that is significantly different from its reiterations of the iPhone and iPad. Speculation is as rampant as the company is tight-lipped about its future plans, which are currently rumored to include some sort of redefinition of the television-watching experience, an “iWatch”, an “iCar”, and even some version of the glasses, which Google has developed.
Apple’s shares were up on Thursday 0.87 percent to $432.07, based less on Schiller’s comments and more on the fact that the stock was upgraded from “neutral” to “buy” by the ratings firm BTIG, who cited “the many revenue opportunities that are now available to Apple” that rely on “products and services that have not yet been announced”.
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