Until Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) launched its lineup of larger smartphones with the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus on Friday, Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android benefited from Apple's absence in the hot market for large smartphones and phablets. But now, with Apple's latest-generation iPhones giving Android users an excellent alternative to large phones like the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy S5, the Galaxy Note lineup, and the LG G3, Apple is likely to snap up users who decide to switch over to iOS from Android.

iPhone 6. Image source: Apple.

Samsung's loss, Apple's gain
Samsung will be hurt the most from Apple's foray into larger smartphones with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley is predicting (via AppleInsider). The South Korea-based Samsung capitalized on the demand for larger smartphones early on. Walkley raised his price target for Apple stock on Monday from $112 to $115 after the tech giant announced it had sold a record 10 million new iPhones over the launch weekend. One of the key reasons for the upgrade? Initial surveys, Walkley says, suggest an abnormally high number of Android smartphone owners switching to the latest-generation iPhone models.

As AppleInsider notes, Cowen & Company analyst Timothy Arcuri "also believes that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will target high-end Android switchers."

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Image source: Apple.

Solid benchmarks
Beyond making its iPhones simply larger, Apple's iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are all-around excellent devices. Consider some of these early findings.

  • DisplayMate says the "iPhone 6 Plus has raised the bar for top LCD display performance up by a notch."
  • The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus came in at the top in all but one category of AnandTech's CPU-bound benchmarks.
  • Battery life for both devices is "quite incredible," according to AnandTech. At 11.5 and 13.7 hours of web browsing battery life on WiFi, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sport some of the best smartphone battery life on the market.

Keep in mind that Apple was able to pull these feats off in spite of the fact that its newest iPhones are thinner than ever before -- and thinner than competitors.

Of course, given the premium price point that Apple sells its iPhones for, all of these performance achievements are expected. Even so, it's clear that Apple has made quite an entrance into the growing market of large screen-size smartphones -- an entrance that will undoubtedly convince some Android users to switch over to Apple's iOS ecosystem.

Apple CEO Tim Cook boldly told The Wall Street Journal in an interview after its iPhone media event earlier this month that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus would spark "the mother of all upgrades" and that he expects Android users to switch.

iPhone 6. Image source: Apple.

Apple wants to capitalize on the opportunity to convince Android users to switch over to iOS with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus as much as possible. In a move to help Android users make the switch to iOS, Apple released a detailed support document that explains how they can move their data from their Android devices to the iPhone.

Growing Apple's current annual iPhone sales level of 164 million units won't be easy, but tapping into the market for larger smartphones that was, until now, dominated by Android will certainly help.

Daniel Sparks owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Google (C shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Google (C shares). Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.