re: Apple iPhone 5S Faces Tough Rivals
Interesting. Some analyst was estimating today that Apple will get 40% margins off the iPhone 5C, which is actually better than the company is doing now, without any "budget" options. The problem for Apple, the analyst said, is that premium markets are pretty mature, so growth has involved more user gravitating toward older iPhone models, which are sold at discount, and from which Apple doesn't make as much hardware profit.
If the 40% figure is accurate, and if the iPhone 5S is the top premium smartphone option (like the iPhone 5 has been), Apple should come out of the holiday season looking good. Not good enough to threaten Android's market share, but good enough to gain back some of what it's lost, and to fight off Samsung for the smartphone industry's title of most profitable player.
But if people are unimpressed by iOS 7 and/or the iPhone 5S's incremental upgrades, gains from the iPhone 5C could be negated by lower-than-expected 5S sales. I don't expect that to happen, but as the article points out, it's definitely possible.