Samsung dominance in 2013 could make iPhone Mini a reality

News Richard Goodwin 10:21, 4 Jan 2013

The launch of the Galaxy S4 and Note 3 alongside an already broad portfolio of products will ensure Samsung further extends its lead over Apple in 2013, claims report

Samsung will continue to dominate the mobile space (and Apple) throughout 2013. Early forecasts suggest growth rates of around 35 per cent during the next 12 months, according to Strategy Analytics.

This may force Apple into producing a cheaper handset, says the research firm. A more cost-effective iPhone could help it regain some of the ground it’s lost to Samsung, especially in the pre-paid and foreign markets.

18 months ago under the rule of Steve Jobs a move like this would have been unprecedented. Nowadays the idea of a more cost-effective iPhone seems very plausible under the stewardship of Tim Cook.

‘We expect Samsung to slightly extend its lead over Apple this year because of its larger multitier product portfolio,’ Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said in an e-mail interview with Reuters.

He added: ‘Samsung plays in more segments and this should enable it to capture more volume than Apple (assuming Apple does not launch an 'iPhone Mini' this year).’

Analysts across the board seem to agree that Apple’s long-term survival and marketshare will be entirely dependent on the company releasing a cheaper, lower-end, iPhone that targets mid-tier markets and pre-pay customers.

‘We think Apple will have to launch an 'iPhone Mini' at some point over the next three years to address the hundreds of millions of prepaid users worldwide that cannot afford the current iPhone,’ added Mawston.

Mawston says the iPhone Mini, which is still very much a rumour, is likely to appear sometime next year, perhaps in Q1 2014, as Apple attempts to generate new growth streams.

Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 5S in June.

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