Why Samsung's Galaxy S4 (IV) is not a game-changer

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Hype over Samsung's Galaxy S4 (IV) may have reached a fever pitch in recent weeks, but at least two prominent industry analysts seems less than impressed with the smartphone.

According to Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets, the Galaxy S4 represents a definite refresh for Samsung - boasting a higher resolution than the iPhone 5 - but still isn't a game changer. Indeed, White believes Apple's iPhone 5S will easily outsell the S4 when it hits the streets later this year.

White also described the S4 as "heavier, fatter and less refined than the iPhone 5," claiming its plastic casing is simply "no match" for the aluminum unibody enclosure Apple adopted on the iPhone 5.

"We are amazed by how analysts and the media have turned on Apple during the recent stock downdrafts with statements that Samsung is 'out-innovating' Apple," White opined in an industry note obtained by AppleInsider.

"One would believe that Samsung is crushing Apple in the mobile phone market. We believe this is complete nonsense."

Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray expressed similar sentiments, characterizing the Galaxy S4 as an "evolutionary" update. Like White, Jaffray said he expected Apple's iPhone to maintain its share of the high-end smartphone market in calendar year 2013.

"While the S4 is likely to be the iPhone's biggest competitor this year at the high-end of the market, we remain confident in our iPhone estimate for this year of 177.5 million, which includes a cheaper phone in the September quarter," Munster explained.

"We view the S4 as unlikely to meaningfully impact iPhone share of the high-end over the full year, but do expect it to take share from other Android phones."