The recent news surrounding Apple’s smartphone developments haven’t been very encouraging, to say the least. Peter Misek, an analyst from Jeffries who recently visited the plants of Apple’s manufacturing partners, has spotted various potential delays and predicts that the iPhone 6 will have “almost no chance” of being released in 2013. The manufacturing progress of the alleged iPhone 5S, which many believed would be unveiled during the summer, is also said to be halted following a series of problems involving the implementation of the finger-print sensor component; While the low-cost, “budget” iPhone reportedly uses cheaper plastic materials and features a structure less complex than the 5S’s, speculations are suggesting that it too may be placed on hold until at least the third or fourth quarter of this year.
A few interesting issues are worth thinking about at this point. For a span of almost two entire quarters (approximately half a year), the Cupertino company will be without a “new” smartphone product to offer to the public. Other than giving consumers good reason to temporarily forget about Apple’s smartphone presence—which, in all fairness, could be already happening— the company’s Q2 and Q3 absences essentially create a window of opportunity for competitors to either gain respectable momentum or claim additional market share within the mobile device industry.
Below, we take a brief look at the statuses of Samsung and HTC, both of which have recently released a set of promising handsets and are arguably in good position to thrive from the temporarily “Apple-free” market environment.
A Continuing Dominance for the Korean Giant
Having accomplished notable shipment records year after year, achieved major financial milestones on a consistent basis, and defeated Apple in almost every region of the world, Samsung will arguably get a kick out of the Cupertino company’s two-quarter absence. The Korean giant’s ambition—as well as awareness of its rival’s struggles—is already clearly reflected in the 40 million Q2 shipment goal set for the Galaxy S4. By the end of June, the intended shipment target for the entire Galaxy S series is estimated to be approximately 100 million units.
A few other notable reasons why Samsung will prevail in Q2/Q3 include its growing dominance in rapidly emerging markets (for instance, China and India), its ability to dictate and control the flow of major smartphone parts (the most obvious case being the Multi-Chip packages), and the overall momentum stemming from the Galaxy S4. As Apple is technically still a component client of Samsung’s, rumors have been mounting that the latter may have already been well aware of the recent low iPhone demands that have been experienced by the Cupertino company.
The Comeback Opportunity for HTC
As is the case with Samsung, the temporary absence of the new iPhones is expected to greatly benefit HTC. The Taiwan-based company has so far released two very notable smartphones: the HTC Butterfly and the New One. Both garnered near unanimous praise for their hardware specs, drew a respectable following, and showed innovative design features. The two handsets are also among the best Android-platformed devices that are currently available on the market.
While some may undoubtedly perceive the component shortages as a potential obstacle for HTC, sources close to Trendinsider suggest that the company has already resolved most of its supply-related problems. Reportedly, HTC had sent more than 200 engineers to Hong Kong as a means to fix its VCM as well as yield rate issues. Considering that the New HTC One uses a Qualcomm chip and equips its own unique mobile DRAM components, the company is also expected to be relatively immune to the recent eMCP shortage.
In the next quarter, HTC is estimated to ship nearly 4 million New HTC One units. A recent collection of online polls showed that on average, more than 6o% of the consumers are thinking about choosing New HTC One over the Galaxy S4.