Galaxy S4 could be Samsung’s ‘iPhone 5 moment,’ analyst says

by: Chris SmithMarch 7, 2013

Galaxy S4

The Galaxy S4 is one of the most anticipated smartphones of the year, but could the handset have a negative effect on Samsung’s stock in the coming months? That’s what one analyst seems to believe.

Adnaan Ahmad from Berenberg Bank has not only changed his advice on Apple stock from Buy to Sell – with his price target going down to $360 from $800 for Apple shares – but he also changed his view on Samsung stock. Yes, he’s also advising Samsung shareholders to sell.

Ahmad delivered a 60-page report on the smartphone industry, and dedicated part of it to the upcoming Samsung flagship device, the Galaxy S4, which could bring an “iPhone 5 moment” to the company.

By “moment,” Ahmad refers to the moment in time Apple’s stock peaked, which was after the iPhone 5 announcement. Since then, Apple’s share price has fallen significantly even though the company sold millions of devices following the iPhone 5 launch and brought in even more revenue and profits than before.

Ahmad expects the Samsung stock to go down in the months following the Galaxy S4 release, and it will be interesting to see whether he’ll be right or wrong:

[…] learning from our Apple experience, the Galaxy S4 launch could be Samsung’s iPhone 5 “moment” – when the Apple stock peaked. The S4 should have a better processor (Exynos Octa chip) and improved display (potentially larger/flexible) but how much better can it really be? Samsung, as we have written extensively in the past, has a significant advantage over its peers as it has a 12-18 month lead on AM-OLED display technology. This technology allows for the screen to potentially be flexible and foldable. We do not think that flexible is a big differentiating factor, whereas foldable probably will be in the future. However, foldable screens are still 18 months away at least. In the interim, mega bulls on the Samsung stock are going to be hoping for a) market share gains versus Apple at the high end; and b) better margin structure than our estimates on the mid-to-low-end portfolio. • We can say with confidence that Samsung’s H1 2013 results will be robust given the S4 release and subsequent sell-in to the market. However, we think that – as with Apple – investors will quickly start to look beyond H1 2013. Hence any near-term strength in the stock for us is an opportunity to sell down positions.

On the other hand, unconfirmed reports say that Samsung may sell as many as 100 million Galaxy S4 units, with some rumors suggesting that the South Korean giant is getting ready to move 10 million units each month. What will happen to Samsung stock in such a case?

Analysts don’t always get it right, and rumors can’t always be trusted. We’ll just have to wait and see how the Galaxy S4 affects Samsung’s stock, and we’ll return to these predictions and sales estimates in the coming months.

Meanwhile, we’ll remind you once again that we’re going to cover the Galaxy S4 press event live from New York, on March 14, so keep close!

  • I think he’s got his throat buried so far up his arse he can see up his esophagus. The difference between Samsung’s stock peak and Apple’s is that after Apple’s stock peaked, they stop innovating whereas Samsung have continued their innovation from the Galaxy S2 (in my opinion, this is the phone that started their success story) to the GS3 to the Note 2 and Note 10, as well as the Nexus 10 – which I haven’t seen so far here in South Africa. Apple’s innovation stopped with the iPhone 4, which many only started to realize after the same old-same old iPhone 4S came out. In my opinion, and although I am no expert on the matter, I think that if Samsung keeps on innovating and listening to the market they can only go up and up

    • Jose Gurrola

      +1 except for Samsung continually innovating and making someting people never thought about. I believe that there will come a time when there will be a cold period with phones and how innovative they are. But thats just me. Could be wrong and could be right, but no one ever really knows do they? :-/

      • On a Clear Day

        Ahmad is also ignoring the fact that the mentality and personalities of the two companies could NOT be more diametrically opposed if they tried.

        Apple was a one man show run by a so-called charismatic (to be read capricious and dictatorial) leader and became the Steve Jobs show after awhile with everyone looking for him to do his thing, which he did, and quite well thank you very much. However, he is gone; and the rule of thumb for companies of such ilk is that within 24 to 48 months they begin to implode. Why? Because the so called charismatic leaders almost never, ever cultivate subordinates who might draw away the light they wish to bask in, and once gone – well it sorta leave a huge, void of leadership that no one can truly fill (certainly not even the best “manager type”; any of this ringing true?

        Samsung though obviously a profit oriented business – just like Apple – was not and is not run along the lines of a medieval kingdom where one King rules and if you don’t agree with him it is “off with your head.”

        The Koreans are one of the finest, most loyal and hardworking people anywhere in the world; and smart as all get out. They realize that the secret to success is making things people want and making people happy and in the world of cell phones the key to doing that is to be innovative, creative and sell your wares with panache.

        Apple has forgotten, if it ever knew or espoused, that concept and seeks to tell the world that it knows what is best for everyone and that if you are smart you will recognize that one size should fit all and that it is “uncool” not to be Appleized.

        Well, as I am sure you all know, there is that famous warning that is oft given to, but rarely headed, by politicians, actors as well as those who have been incredibly successful in any field of human endeavor, “NEVER start reading and believing your own press (or ads).

        • lotrgsnAA

          a gracious applause! a well written comment. loved your point of view and it fits this situation perfectly!

    • john

      We all know these economists, advisers are full of shit most of the times. I mean there are exceptions, but these happen to be more about “holy shit we were so wrong, better fix that” rather than “hey, I was right all along.”

    • Lil bit

      And now what do you say, when it already happened? Investors are looking beyond 1h2013 and sees what was predicted.

  • Jose Gurrola

    I say poop. Of course the GS4 will sell tons of phones. I do see the point where the analysist said they might hit a iphone 5 moment. Flagship phones now adays are pushing the boundaries of what they can really do and to follow up the next year and bieng expected to “wow” the consumer every single time they release a new flagship is almsot impossible. I personally just think the GS4 will have a bigger screen, the new octa-core processor and possibly a 13 mega pixel camera, along with some features like eye scroll that seem to be more of a “look what I can do” and just plainly a gimmick. But hey what else can you throw in to a flagship phone every year without over doing it and possibly shooting yourself in the foot the next year? Not much else. There is going to come a time when these companies will hit a wall UNTILL technology has caught up and would allow them to truly “wow” the consumers yet again. How long that will be? It’s any body’s guess.

  • Rex

    Expectations are mighty high, people. Do you think the Galaxy S4 will delight and impress or not?

    • Jose Gurrola

      I expect what everyone else is expecting. bigger screen, crazy processor, 13 mega pixel camera, and some now touch wiz features lol

      • kascollet

        I except innovation.

  • Filip Justin

    Samsung’s stock even if it falls, it won’t happen by a great margin.. Imagine that these guys do everything from fridges to silicon chips so they won’t lose a lot.. But, compared to Apple, the prices from Samsung are far more reasonable.. That is a plus, no matter how many new things they bring into the fight..

  • Jordan Irwin

    I personally will be getting it. But mainly for the fact it’s the only big name flagship coming to Verizon.

  • NoMoreCrackedScreens

    Flexible IS a differentiating factor when it comes even if the phone itself doesn’t flex significantly. It gives you an unbreakable screen.

    • kascollet

      Flexible means Gorilla Glass no more. Flexible means scratchable.

      • Jose Gurrola

        Actualy gorrila glass has a flexible glass they are working on. Look it up. But they said they dont expect flexible displays to be a “main” component for atleast another 2-3 years. Power of gorrila glass 3…only flexible. win-win anyone?

        • kascollet

          That will surely be great.

  • James Heath

    This really makes sense. The difference between the S3 and S4 will mean just a few changes.
    The reason why is easy. The S3 model 9305 is excellent. It has LTE 4G, 2G RAM, 32gb handset memory plus huge ability from a micro SD card.
    This, relatively new spec phone, is the S3 best kept secret. So I’ll be buying this phone soon, upgrading from my S2, leaving plenty of money still in my pocket…….
    Any differences between the S3 9305 and S4, I can live with!

    • kascollet

      Ok. Live with pen-tile/Mali400/plastic/4.1. I’ll get the S4 for myself.

      • Denzo

        Still plastic isn’t it?

        • kascollet

          I hope they come up with something new in this department.

          • The plastic was confirmed few days before.

          • Why does it matter if it isn’t plastic?? If it was Aluminium, you’d put it in a plastic case/cover anyway in order to protect it, rendering the aluminium moot. Not to mention the fact that Alu inhibits the signal of the phone and bends easily, especially if it’s thin, so that would not be ideal at all. Plastic has some good qualities to it, such as the fact that it flexes slightly (at least the plastic that Samsung uses) which means that it would absorb shock, protecting the device’s internals. I know the plastic that they use may not *look* the best, but I’d rather have a non-alu phone that would be durable – which I’d put into a case anyway

          • On a Clear Day

            Exactly Nathan. Most people snap on a protective case anyway, which means that, except for the screen being visible (unless you use one of those horrible soft plastic things), the case’s “beauty” will forever be hidden away.

          • tupperware
          • To be honest, this is a topic that could be debated until the end of time, so I’ll leave it at this: how about people who like polycarbonate cases on their phones can go buy one from the various brands, and those who don’t can go buy a metal smartphone from HTC or Apple. The beauty of choice eh?

        • yeah, plastic.. confirmed

  • As Nathan said, Samsung kept innovating while Apple wanted to add only few simple features and call it an “upgrade”. Apple killed it’s own business.

    • Denzo

      So yeah apple only made the iphone 5 have better graphics, better screen contrast and quality, better call quality, better battery, lighter, stronger, increased the screen size, aluminium, and an amazing dual core processor custom designed off an A15 chip – that runs real racing 3 in amazing unseen mobile phone graphics. Yeah – they didn’t do much compared with the sgs2—> sgs3 did they. How about they did the same shit as Samsung if you are honest with yourself. What- NFC extra is really that good?? I’m still yet to see 2 people rub their phones together to transfer a file- when they can just email it. Get off the Samsung lap and have a sip of reality you android fool.

      • LOL

        • kascollet

          Sounds abusive but he has a point. Speaking of innovations, Samsung didn’t do much (other handset makers have though).

          • Denzo

            Completely agree. Sony and its IP57.. Padfone 2 and infinity.. Heaps of android manufacturers are making some nice moves.

          • +1

  • “investors will quickly start to look beyond H1 2013” – No problem. There’s always the Note 3.

  • The SIV will be a great phone…

    But will be the ugliest Galaxy S yet.

    • You have actually seen a motherfXcking GS4 in the flesh then, or you just pulled that statement out of your gaping asshole?

      • Just a few more days and you will also be able to see how ugly is the bastard… But it is a good Smartphone!

  • Tom Tommarello Jr

    iPhone 5 had plenty of new features over the iPhone4s. But it lost sales because it did not have enough features that mattered to consumers over the GS3.

    What is the GS4 going up against? So far the HTC One. Possibly the Google Xphone. So far the only X factor I see is the Xphone.

    We all faced high expectations of a ceramic coated, indestructible GS3 with a non-pentile screen and were disappointed. But that quickly faded to the reality that the GS3 was the best all-around phone on the market.

    I do not see the same happening to the GS4. The GS3 met consumer expectations but the iPhone5 did not answer what consumers were most demanding. For the training wheels to come off the bicycle and meet the needs of a now matured consumer.

  • michael sanchez

    I personally feel he is a secret ifan. Just read more of his blogs.

  • brady

    this makes tech not fun

  • Y these people blindly guess about S4 wait until 14th then think about it, don,t just guess