Apple positioned for smartphone fightback

Michael Carroll
02 Nov 2011

Apple is well placed to retake the crown of top global smartphone vendor in the fourth quarter due to extending its range into lower price points, a Juniper Research analyst predicts.

The data firm notes that South Korean vendor Samsung topped the pile during the third quarter, shipping 22% of 115 million global smartphones sold compared to 15% for Apple. Junipers points out that Samsung benefitted from continued strong sales of its flagship Galaxy S II model, and believes its future portfolio will shake up the smartphone market with new designs and form factors.

However, research analyst Daniel Ashdown tips Apple to recover in the fourth quarter as sales of its iPhone 4S accelerate. “While the 4S is essentially an iPhone 4 with hardware upgrades, Siri is going to be a killer app for Apple,” he states, adding that Apple’s decision to push previous iPhone models down the value chain “positions the company’s handsets at a range of price points, without losing their premium image.”

Ashdown’s predictions are certainly borne out by Apple’s sales figures, which show the firm sold more than twice the number of iPhone 4S devices than its predecessor in the first three days of availability. Many reports have speculated that a drop in the vendor’s 3Q sales is mostly due to customers holding off for the new model during September.

While Ashdown notes former market leader Nokia stands to benefit from the launch of its first two Windows Phone smartphones, the vendor suffered a 38% fall in shipments year-on-year to 16.8 million during the third quarter.

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