The Mobile Word Congress (MWC) wraps up in Barcelona today and the conventional wisdom is the confab was great for Google (GOOG) and not so good for Apple (AAPL).
Indeed, hordes of new Android phones were announced, including the first-ever by Nokia and the latest high-end phone from Samsung. Meanwhile, Apple -- which doesn't participate in MWC -- was an afterthought. In addition, IDC is forecasting a sharp slowdown in smartphone sales growth -- from 39% in 2013 to 19% this year and continuing to decline to 6% in 2018. IDC further predicts average selling prices will drop from $335 in 2013 to $260 in 2018, a potentially ominous portent for Apple, which seems hellbent on maintaing its "premium" brand status.
But the conventional wisdom is often wrong and Yahoo Finance's Aaron Pressman thinks 2014 is shaping up to be a good year for Apple, citing "very low expectations and a big opportunity to innovate."
Pressman even found some positives for Apple amid all the 'mindshare' Android captured at MWC.
"Samsung's new galaxy S5 is just a complete and total ripoff of what Apple did six months ago with the iPhone 5S," he says, citing the fingerprint reader and gold color as prime examples. "And the fingerprint reader is reportedly much less easy to use than Apple's. There's a possibility all this copying and aping of Apple bounces back not well for Samsung and the overall Android ecosystem."
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The real opportunity for Apple, he says, will come around the expected launch of iPhone 6 later this year. "There's real danger these Android phones that are very derivative and not exciting get left in the dust in a couple of months if there's an iPhone which really has some Apple innovation in it."
Watch the accompanying video to hear Pressman's take on other "winners and losers" of WMC, featuring his analysis of chipmakers like Intel, Qualcomm and Altera.