Has Apple had its day?
As Samsung celebrates the sale of over 100 million Galaxy S devices, Apple slashes its iPhone 5 orders. Could the Korean tech giant be inching Apple off its comfortable throne? Stuff wordsmiths Esat Dedezade and Paddy Smith juggle the numbers...
Es: Empires weaken, kings grow old, and crowns tarnish. History has shown us this time and again, and now we see the cracks beginning to appear at Apple's core. The iPhone's stale OS and high price tag are driving people straight into the the arms of the Android camp, and it is the Galaxy S3 in which the people have found their new king.
Paddy: Let's look at the facts. Samsung has sold over 100 million Galaxy S devices. That includes the original S, the S2, the S3, the S Advance and the S Plus and accommodates sales dating back to 2010. Although the figures haven't been made public yet, Apple is expected to have sold in the region of 74 million iPhones in the last quarter of 2012 alone. I don't see the Americans shaking with fear...
Es: Apple's numbers are impressive, I'll give you that. But it's not all rosy down in Cupertino. Its share price has fallen three per cent following news of reduced iPhone 5 orders – the first chink in the iArmour perhaps? And with Samsung unleashing the Galaxy S4 months before the iPhone 6's launch, it could prove to be the ultimate preemptive strike.
Paddy: When you say "news" of reduced iPhone 5 orders, I think what you mean is uncorroborated reports. Even if they're based in fact, it could be a case of a mouthy supplier losing orders, while another more muted partner takes up the slack. Or perhaps Apple is clearing inventory ahead of releasing a new iPhone (the iPhone 5S or 6)? For me, when a nervy market wipes three per cent of a company as good at making money as Apple, it's time to ping your braces, get on the phone to your stockbroker and shout, "Buy, buy, buy!" Oh yeah, and I just looked at Samsung's trading figures... down 2.6 per cent. Explain?
Es: Now I'm no fancy financial analyst by any means, but Samsung's price drop could be linked to Apple's, given that it provides memory modules for the iPhone. However your 'clearing inventory' theory does, I admit, make sense. I guess we'll just have to see what the next year has to offer with the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 6 (with a hopefully revamped iOS7) to boot. But either way, Apple's ruling iron fist is undeniably beginning to loosen its grip.