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Samsung's New Phone Isn't Just a Shot at Apple

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Samsung turned heads during last week's Samsung Unpacked event.

Everyone seems to be wondering how the new Samsung Galaxy S4 will eat into Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) iPhone sales when the high-end smartphone hits the market by the end of next month. However, it's not just Apple that will be challenged by Samsung's bar-raising device.

Let's go over three publicly traded companies that may also be in the crosshairs when it comes to Samsung's new phone.

Nike (NYSE: NKE  )
The sultan of swoosh would seem to be an odd target for a South Korean smartphone maker, but have you seen the new Galaxy's fitness features?

S Health is a major component of the new handset. The S4 comes with a pedometer, counting the steps taken in order to track someone's active lifestyle. Ambient temperature and humidity is also tracked for an accurate fitness read, and an updated app includes food nutrition information.

There are plenty of third-party accessories and devices -- from scales to heart-rate monitors -- that will play nicely with S Health. There is also the S Band bracelet that can track movements for those who aren't always carrying around their phones.

This is a full-on attack on Fitbit and Jawbone UP, but it's also a shot at Nike's FuelBand wellness bracelets and the whole NikeFuel ecosystem.

Nike bulls will argue that the branded athletic footwear and apparel company is still a winner. Folks who are more conscious about their physical activities will go through more Nike shoes and sweat-wicking shirts. They have a point, but for now the challenge is for Samsung's S Health to establish itself as an important wellness brand.

Rosetta Stone (NYSE: RST  )
S Tranlsate is another feature of the new S4.

The device allows instant speech-to-text and text-to-speech translations in 10 different languages. The ability to translate emails or text messages is novel, but the ability to actually communicate with a local in a foreign country is where Rosetta Stone will feel the pinch.

Rosetta Stone succeeds in getting language learners to pay up for intensive courses, but some may argue that it won't be necessary when the S4 can do a lot of the heavy lifting.

BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY  )
Apple may be challenged by the S4's new features, but the timing of the announcement couldn't have been worse for BlackBerry.

Samsung's event was slated just as BlackBerry's two largest U.S. carriers began to take preorders for the new Z10 device that runs on the BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system. The smarpthone pioneer's new platform drew some critical praise, but it's not the Swiss Army Knife of smartphones that the S4 is shaping itself up to be.

Diehard BlackBerry fans are going to get the Z10 when it becomes available domestically, but those straddling the fence about buying now or waiting until a likely summertime release for Apple's next iPhone now have an even more current reason to reconsider with the S4 April rollout.

Beyond Nike, Rosetta Stone, and BlackBerry
The Galaxy S4 is a clear challenge to Apple, but it's not the only target.

Nike, Rosetta Stone, and BlackBerry aren't the only additional targets, either.

The new 13-megapixel camera will make it even harder for the makers of digital cameras to stand out. Smartphones no longer take crummy pictures, and Samsung's upping the quality. New photo and video features will make it harder for the makers of content authoring programs.

Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) also can't be happy.

The Finland-based handset giant was starting to gain traction with its Lumia smartphones running Windows Phone. The nifty camera turned heads, and even though developer support for Windows Phone isn't as solid as Android and iOS, it's a better situation than BlackBerry is initially finding with BlackBerry 10.

The new S4 becomes the top alternative to the iPhone. Nokia and BlackBerry will be back to nibbling at the fringes of the market.

Samsung's new phone is taking shots at everybody.

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Read/Post Comments (8) | Recommend This Article (6)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On March 18, 2013, at 7:18 PM, prginww wrote:

    The speech to text and text to speech already exists, it isn't new for the S4. S Health already existed prior to the S 4, its upgraded but for the most part it already existed. So I think you fail on Nike and Rosetta Stone, and as far as Nokia and Blackberry go you only provided an unsubstantiated opinion. Overall, fail.

  • Report this Comment On March 18, 2013, at 7:28 PM, prginww wrote:


    Paid PR firm to drive bad bbry press. Hedge fund paid for. Check the history of comments. Never anything remotely fair or positive and consistent with short behavior.

    Should be banned.

  • Report this Comment On March 18, 2013, at 8:01 PM, prginww wrote:

    I agree with hedgeshorthater....why is everything out infothatsucks i mean "infthathelp apple long"... I still think he some how got fired from blackberry in some way...the attacks are to personal

  • Report this Comment On March 18, 2013, at 8:28 PM, prginww wrote:

    Samsung and bbry are bores. Not sure if Apple will come out with anything better though. But I am excited what new things Nokia will bring next!

  • Report this Comment On March 18, 2013, at 9:21 PM, prginww wrote:

    Since the introduction of the S4, apple stock has been on an upward trajectory and bbry has not tanked.

    Perhaps investors after looking at the S4 see nothing to be worried about.

    I look at the s3 vs s4 in the same light as I4s vs the I5. That being, no compelling reason to upgrade.

    As such this bodes well for other competitors.

  • Report this Comment On March 19, 2013, at 2:27 AM, prginww wrote:

    Although the second-rate marketing-speak can get annoying at times, on some level I'd miss infothathelp's comments if he wasn't here. I find myself tuning in to find out what crazy post he'll come up with next. It's a guilty pleasure like listening to interviews with wrestlers or reading the financial section of World Weekly News: Bat Boy Says Z10 DOA!

    Nothing to be taken seriously.

  • Report this Comment On March 19, 2013, at 7:01 PM, prginww wrote:

    You know what would really be hilarious?

    Infothatsucks help turned out to be Basillie and loses on the short side all the gains he made by selling his millions of ill gotten shares.

    One thing is obvious, he did get fired and it is now affecting his sanity.

  • Report this Comment On March 19, 2013, at 7:17 PM, prginww wrote:

    Interesting that the media is now being inundated with iphone5 commercials now after apple is down 40% since that POS phone was released several months ago.

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