Can the iPhone 5S Do What Galaxy S4 Failed To?

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) didn’t suffer, as investors and analysts had feared, when Samsung (SSNLF.PK) launched its glitzy new Galaxy S4 last week. Incredibly instead, the iPhone maker’s stock gained the day after its rival’s phone’s New York City launch. Part of the reason for that, according to some is that Samsung’s device may not have come with one of those “killer features” that make it really big. On top of it, an iPhone 5S may instead arrive with just that, according to Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty.

The new Samsung Galaxy S4 has a slightly larger screen, a slightly reduced profile, a slightly reduced weight, largely boosted tech specs, and a few nifty features — such as a screen that responds to eye movement and hand motion. But nifty isn’t “killer” and might not be enough to crush the iPhone legacy. As CNET wrote, it didn’t have have many improvements that stand out as a “cannot-possibly-live-without feature.”

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These opinions may show some Apple favoritism, as some found the iPhone 5 to be quite a step forward in innovation. Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White saw the iPhone 5 as “a work of art,” and attributed it to the simple change in dimensions and weight of the device, which don’t touch on Apple’s innovation.

Huberty said on CNBC that the Galaxy S4 lacked a “killer feature” and that “this [iPhone] 5S cycle this year will be about a killer feature that drives consumers increasingly to the platform…”

Recently, it become apparent that Apple could be implementing near-field communication technology in its next device — allowing for communication between devices that are located in close proximity — but this could not be seen as innovation or a “killer feature” since it is already implemented in other mobile devices. In fact, Apple may just be jumping on the bandwagon.

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Many may remember Siri as the innovation that Apple brought with the iPhone 4S, but it’s unclear just what innovation the company will be able to bring with its next high-end iPhone model. One hypothesized innovation is a finger-print reader built into the home button. Though the technology is far from new, it would be a new implementation that could draw in consumers — though it still remains arguable whether or not it’s innovative to the point of being a “killer feature,” especially as facial-recognition is already featured on some smartphones.

Here’s how Apple’s stock performed on Tuesday:

AAPL March 19

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