Is Samsung Hurting Apple's Stock?

Tickers in this article: AAPL

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- For the first time in its history, Apple's(AAPL) iPhone 4S was surpassed by a competitor. Could this be hurting Apple's shares?

Apple's share price has come under pressure recently, on concerns of lack of innovation at the Cupertino, Calif.-based giant, as well as fatigue. Consumers are flocking to the iPhone 5 in droves, and it's still extremely difficult to get one.

Shares are off 14.36% over the past month and 11.83% over three months, compared to a 5.87% and 2.72% decline in the Nasdaq.

Samsung's Galaxy S III surpassed iPhone 4S sales in the third quarter (August), according to research firm Strategy Analytics. Among the reasons cited were "a large touchscreen, extensive distribution and generous operator subsidies.." Samsung sold 18 million units of its flagship smartphone, with Apple reportedly only selling 16.2 million units of the iPhone 4S. Apple also sold 6 million iPhone 5s during the quarter.

"Apple shipped an estimated 16.2 million iPhone 4S units worldwide for second place, as consumers temporarily held off purchases in anticipation of a widely expected iPhone 5 upgrade at the end of the quarter," said Neil Shah, senior analyst with Strategy Analytics.

Shah added that he believes Apple will regain the crown in the all-important fourth quarter, with the iPhone 5 launch going extremely well. Apple sold 5 million units of the iPhone 5 in its first weekend.

"We expect the new iPhone 5 to out-ship Samsung's Galaxy S3 in the coming fourth quarter of 2012 and Apple should soon reclaim the title of the world's most popular smartphone model," Shah said.

The iPhone 4S was introduced in October 2011, and for the phone to reign supreme until August 2012, when speculation surrounding the iPhone 5 was rampant, is nothing short of impressive. The engineering, marketing and advertising teams at Apple have demonstrated their superiority in the smartphone game with sales of its iPhone continually ranking at the top of the sales list.

Cumulatively speaking, Apple continues to hold the smartphone crown, selling 22.2 million iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S devices during the quarter. Apple announced it sold 26.9 million iPhones overall during the quarter, a 58% year-over-year hike.

Samsung can claim the crown for the third quarter, but reports of Apple's death are greatly exaggerated.

Just ask Mark Twain about that one.

Interested in more on Apple? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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