“We are just on the verge of the launch of Samsung’s next generation Galaxy S5 flagship phone,” Ashraf Eassa writes for Seeking Alpha. “The rumors are running rampant and it’s hard to get a good read on exactly what this smartphone will feature or what it even looks like, but it’s pretty clear that it will be a state-of-the-art design from a hardware perspective. On the software front, Samsung is still well behind Apple, but could dramatically improve its ‘TouchWiz’ interface for the S5. At any rate, the key takeaway is that Apple can’t afford to wait until September to counter.”

“The innovation engine across the industry at large is already moving extremely quickly (even if the rest of the market is bludgeoning its margins in order to compete in this increasingly crowded market), so Apple is unlikely to be able to wait until September before it has to pretty aggressively cut prices on the iPhone 5s in order to maintain its market share at the high end,” Eassa writes. “Apple is going to need to ‘wow’ consumers with a next generation iPhone in order to fend off the Android hordes from eating into its outsized portion of the smartphone industry’s profits. There’s no question that Apple can do it – it’s proven itself time and again as the designer of the world’s best smartphones – but the question is whether Apple would rather milk the current design for all its worth or move quickly to a next generation design more quickly.”

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