Samsung’s (005930) Galaxy s 4 went from rumor to reality Thursday evening and the initial response was generally positive. In BGR’s hands-on Galaxy S 4 preview, we said that the new flagship phone was better than the Galaxy S III in almost every way, though it still feels very cheap for a high-end handset. According to lead Apple (AAPL) bull Brian White, Samsung’s new Galaxy S 4 is a fair refresh but hardly a game changer that Apple investors should concern themselves with.
“Last night, Samsung Electronics hosted an event in New York City to unveil the Galaxy S 4,” the Topeka Capital Markets analyst wrote in a research note Friday morning. “Samsung introduced some interesting new features in the Galaxy S 4 many of which we expect newer smartphones to include as the year unfolds. As such, we view the Galaxy S 4 as a refresh but NOT a game changer. We believe the iPhone 5S will handily outsell Samsung’s new flagship smartphone in the second-half of the year, while we believe Apple will expand its world with a lower-priced iPhone in 2013.”
White says the display on the new Samsung smartphone looks great, but the Galaxy S 4 is still “heavier, fatter and less refined than the iPhone 5.”
“We consider the iPhone 5 a work of art and Apple’s ability to deliver a device that came with a larger screen (4-inch vs. 3.5-inch) versus the 4S but one that was 18% thinner and 20% lighter was a monumental task,” White wrote. “By comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S 4 is 5 inches vs. 4.8 inches for the Galaxy S 3 but only 8% thinner and 2% lighter. At the same time, the iPhone 5 is 4% thinner than the Galaxy S 4 and 14% lighter. With the iPhone 5S expected to launch this summer, we believe Apple has the potential for even further improvements in this department. Also, polycarbonate (i.e., plastic) casing of the Galaxy S 4 is still no match for the aesthetics of the iPhone 5 with the aluminum unibody enclosure.”
Topeka maintained its Buy rating on Apple shares with an $888 price target.