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Analyst Reviews: iPhone 5 to Create Competitive Smartphone Quarter

By Kate Kunkel
September 13, 2012 - News

Analysts determined that the new iPhone 5 could likely give its smartphone competitors a run for their money.

Carl Howe, vice president at Yankee Group Research, said the new iPhone 5 could replace the iPhone 4S and become "the fastest selling consumer electronics device of all time."

"The user experience of the iPhone 5 will make Apple owners eager to upgrade, and it will make non-Apple owners want to buy it," Howe added. "It’s one of those designs in which the whole is greater than the sum of its specs — once you hold it in your hand and use it, it feels both familiar and new at the same time."

Howe also said he was surprised by new phone's  responsive and fluid apps, particularly the upgrade to the Maps app.  In addition, he said that he was impressed by the phone's aluminum back with a bevel around the edge. Howe added that these small touches will drive huge sales of this device.

David McQueen, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, said the phone's faster LTE connectivity, processor speeds, and better Retina display promise a "significantly better user experience."

"From a connectivity angle, the iPhone 5 needed LTE connectivity as it becomes more fundamental for all new flagship devices," McQueen said. "With Apple’s strong existing relationships with a number of major carriers, the new iPhone model promises great potential sales for the 4Q holiday shopping season, even in the face of new LTE-capable devices from Samsung, HTC, Nokia and Motorola also being launched in 4Q."

Apple also switched to a smaller version of the iPhone's connector, McQueen said, making it easier to use. In addition, he said new accessories and speaker docks can be expected on the market soon

This new iPhone's release provided a "much needed physical update," McQueen said. However, he mentioned that it still lacks NFC and wireless charging, and the screen is still not the largest in the smartphone market.  

"While the new hardware may not quite stack up against other products expected in market, it is Apple’s ability to create stylish, desirable products attached to a rich set of services that it hopes can still set it apart to create differentiation," McQueen added. "The new optics, an upgrade to Siri, photographic capabilities and mapping functionality also add to the importance of those elements for the competitive landscape, especially in light of recent announcements from Nokia, Samsung and Microsoft."

McQueen also said 2012 has already been a strong year for Apple, but the full impact of iPhone sales may not register until 4Q12. Informa Telecoms & Media expects total sales to hit close to the company's record in 4Q12 — about 50 million phones sold.

"However, Apple won’t have it all its own way to the end of the year as it faces continued pressure from Samsung and now Nokia with its new range of Lumia devices running on the Windows Phone 8," McQueen said. "In combination, the strength of these devices and platforms will combine to give the most competitive and intriguing smartphone quarter for a number of years."

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