Apple 2.0

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Is Wall Street shorting Apple on weak Samsung Galaxy sales?

June 25, 2013: 7:50 AM ET

Apple suffers as Samsung cuts third quarter Galaxy S4 production by an estimated 25%.

Samsung Galaxy S4.

Samsung Galaxy S4.

chart_ws_stock_appleinc_20136257566_240xaFORTUNE -- You would think that bad news for Samsung's smartphones would be good news for Apple (AAPL). But that's not how Wall Street sees it, according to Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghi.

In an CNBC interview Monday, Sacconaghi listed among the reasons for Apple recent weakness (down 6.8% in a week) the Street's concerns about "Samsung's high end product perhaps not fulfilling expectations about the high end of the smartphone market."

He's referring to the Samsung Galaxy S4, introduced with great fanfare -- and a Broadway opening -- in March, praised in the press for shipping 10 million units in less than a month, and now making headlines for sales that fell short of expectations.

According to Wedge Partner's Brian Blair, those 10 million units shipped were "much lower" than Samsung's own target of 14 to 15 million. Furthermore, Blair estimates that Samsung has cut third quarter production for its flagship smartphone from 40 million units to 30 million and reduced its original first-year target from 100 million to 85 to 90 million.

So what does that have to do with Apple?

According to Sacconaghi, the Street is thinking that if Samsung can't sell as many high-end smartphones as expected, then neither can Apple.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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