Analyst: Apple Can’t Let Samsung Win

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) needed to respond to Samsung’s (SSNLF.PK) recent momentum in the smartphone market and take on the Korean company more strongly on price, according to Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes. The analyst said Samsung’s success now “begs an answer” from the iPhone maker.

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The analyst quoted a note from his Barclays colleague SC Bae, which predicted Samsung would launch a Galaxy S3 Mini and a Galaxy Grand in the coming months.

“To say that the Samsung momentum is an issue for Apple is an understatement,” Reitzes said in a note to investors on Tuesday. “Not only is Samsung helping its own cause, but it catalyzes [Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)] Android as well. As a result, we need to see Apple expand its iPhone market this year in a big way — and improve its platform in 2013.”

Apple could recapture some of the lost momentum by expanding its web services, expanding its distribution, and launching new products, Reitzes said.

“Apple seems set to release the iPhone with new carriers like NTT Docomo (NYSE:DCM) and China Mobile (NYSE:CHL),” he wrote. “In addition, we expect Apple to have a steady stream of hardware announcements this year, including a lower cost iPhone that can expand its market. We expect two new models of phones this year with a phablet that could be launched in the October to March time frame.”

In addition, the analyst said he believed Apple could leverage its strength of being a platform company…

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