iPhone 4 311 R.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Truth Leem)
TAIPEI/SEOUL, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Rival smartphone makers could exploit a
rare letdown by Apple in the launch of its new iPhone 4S model, which
failed to wow fans, and grab a bigger share of the most lucrative part
of the phone market.
However, analysts also noted
that Apple has decided to keep older iPhone models and slash their
prices, potentially helping the company to expand sales in lower-end and
developing markets, where Nokia and Samsung have dominated.
"Apple no longer has a leading edge, its cloud service
is even behind (Google's mobile operating system) Android; it can only
sell on brand loyalty now," said Gartner analyst C.K. Lu in
"Users may wait to buy the next iPhone;
if they can't wait, they may shift to brands with more advanced
The iPhone - introduced in 2007 with the
touchscreen template since adopted by rivals - has proved to be the gold
standard in the booming smartphone market, and its surging sales have
hit the ambitious plans of many competitors.
shares in Samsung Electronics , HTC and LG Electronics, which all make
phones using Google's Android operating system, ended higher after Apple
unveiled the iPhone 4S at its Cupertino, California headquarters
The new iPhone 4S is identical in form
to the previous model, disappointing fans who had hoped for a thinner,
bigger-screened design of a product that had not been updated for more
than a year.
device's high-tech wizardry such as voice commands - for
sending messages, searching for stock prices and other applications -
caught the attention of many analysts, it might not be enough to make it
a must-have for consumers.
"Major concerns for Samsung had been that its smartphone momentum will
decelerate with Apple's new iPhone, but that is now less of a concern as
the new iPhone failed to excite many," said Kim Young-chan, an analyst
at Shinhan Investment Corp in Seoul.
On Wednesday Samsung also said it would file for a sales ban on the new
iPhone with courts in France and Italy, alleging that the phone
infringed its mobile technology patents, widening an already extensive
legal battle with its arch rival.