Jeff Kagan: New Apple iPhone vs. Samsung Galaxy

Jeff Kagan |

Ever hear of the iPhone 6C? Get ready - the latest rumor is that Apple, Inc. (AAPL) may introduce three new iPhones later this year.
Two of them are newer versions of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. They will likely be called the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. The third is said to be a brand new device, probably called iPhone 6C. 

At the same time, we are getting ready to see the new Samsung Galaxy S6 (SSNNF) in the next few weeks. It sure seems like 2015 will be a crazy year in the wireless marketplace.

The iPhone Evolves

Yesterday, the only choice we had in an Apple iPhone was the size of storage capacity. Otherwise, all the iPhones looked and acted the same. Then, two years ago, a new device was introduced called iPhone 5C. This was a lower powered and less costly device for kids or other newcomers. The full strength device was called iPhone 5S.

Apple_Galaxy.jpg

A few months ago, then, Apple introduced two new size phones with larger screens. The iPhone 6 was thinner with a slightly larger screen. The iPhone 6 Plus was an even larger device with a lager screen. Some love the larger iPhone 6. Some love the even larger iPhone 6 Plus, however they say that while it’s easier to see things on a larger screen, talking on the phone is not as comfortable. I know people who actually carry two iPhones, larger and smaller - one for the screen like a small tablet, and one for the phone.

Of course, not everyone wanted a larger phone with a larger screen. Sure, if we could wave a magic wand we could have a smaller device that could be slid open to expand on demand. In reality, though, we have to choose the size of the device we really want.

Unfortunately, as Apple finally acquiesced to those users clamoring for a larger screen, those who prefer the smaller iPhone were left out in the cold...and there are plenty of Apple users shivering right now. This begs the question: Why do companies have to change everything to stay hot, yet leave behind users who liked what they have right now?

iPhone No Longer a "One Size Fits All" Proposition?

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have sold in record numbers, and have helped Apple pass Samsung Galaxy and its Google, Inc. (GOOG) Android operating system once again in the US marketplace. 

So the next logical question is will this new iPhone 6C be a smaller version of the iPhone 6 for users who don’t want a larger device? Or will the iPhone 6C be an economy version of the iPhone 6 at a lower cost like the original iPhone 5C is? The good news is that Apple has obviously decided their single-size strategy no longer works, as other smartphone makers offer a variety of devices and sizes.

Apple created two new sizes with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but did not take care of users who prefer the original size, so perhaps the new iPhone 6C will correct that mistake. I expect all these new devices will have similar tech features like the fingerprint scanner, electronic wallet, more advanced Apple Pay and Near Field Communications or NFC which will let users exchange information by bringing devices close together.

I don’t expect this next version of the iPhone to be a reinvention. It will be better, but not that big a deal (as usual). The big deals come every other year. What about this new iPhone 6C? Apple must give users what they want or risk losing customers. With that said, will it be smaller or will it be more economical? Perhaps Apple will combine these two ideas, or maybe Apple will introduce both, meaning there will be three or four new iPhones within the next six months.

Unfortunately, we won’t know what Apple will introduce until after they pull the curtain back. Don’t expect any new iPhone models for sale until the fall. However, Apple could introduce them six months earlier, meaning we could be getting our first chance to see their thinking and their offerings sometime in the next month or two.

So, Apple continues to do strong business, and has won back the leadership position in the United States with the iPhone 6 from a few months ago. Don’t expect Samsung to just sit back and continue to take a beating, though.

Samsung's Plan of Attack

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge are expected to be released in the next few weeks. Could this turn things around for Samsung once again? It could indeed.

These devices could be hot sellers as well, since Samsung has spent quite a bit of time fixing what customers didn’t like, like the cheap feel of plastic. Plus, I expect them to market these new phones like crazy.

In addition, the competition keeps getting hotter between carriers like AT&T Mobility (T) , Verizon Wireless (VZ) , Sprint Corp. (S) , T-Mobile US (TMUS) , United States Cellular Corp. (USM) and C Spire. Coverage, speed and quality continue to be improved, as these companies continue to compete and win customers from each other.

This year looks like it’s shaping up to be another hot and competitive one in wireless - both on the smartphone handset and on the carrier side...it appears 2015 could be a really crazy year in the wireless marketplace.

 

Equities.com columnist Jeff Kagan is a Wireless Analyst, Telecom Analyst, Industry Analyst and consultant. He shares thoughts on the changing industry, which he's been following for 25 years. He follows what's hot, what's not, why and what's coming next. Email him atjeff@jeffKAGAN.com

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer

Companies

Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
USM United States Cellular Corporation 41.66 -0.10 -0.24 105,878
AAPL Apple Inc. 113.95 1.83 1.63 34,402,627
S Sprint Corporation 8.48 -0.26 -2.97 19,560,796
TMUS T-Mobile US Inc. 56.74 -1.81 -3.09 3,406,193
VZ Verizon Communications Inc. 51.49 0.36 0.70 10,101,462
GOOG Alphabet Inc. 789.29 12.87 1.66 1,821,914
T AT&T Inc. 40.38 -0.03 -0.07 17,105,180

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