Neil Mawston, the executive director at Strategy Analytics, has released a research note according to which Samsung to will “slightly extend its lead over Apple this year because of its larger multitier product portfolio.”
But Apple will fight back, according to the analyst. Strategy Analytics believes “Apple will have to launch an 'iPhone Mini' at some point over the next three years to address the hundreds of millions of prepaid users worldwide that cannot afford the current iPhone.”
The iPhone mini is not launching this year, as it might canibalize iPhone 5 sales, Mawston says. Moreover, the iPhone Mini is regarded as a “profit-squeezing” product, and Apple will want to make the most of it starting with 2014, he says.
Mawston expects the iPhone Mini to be deployed “when Apple's penetration of the global postpaid smartphone market will be nearing saturation and Apple will be forced to discover fresh growth streams elsewhere.”