As smart phones and tablets become the wireless devices of choice among consumers, the war between the various product models has intensified. What does this mean for investors? Which companies will come out on top? Apple (AAPL) and Corning (GLW) seem like the clear-cut winners to me.
Apple has been enjoying an early mover advantage in both the smart phone and tablet markets. Not only has it set the bar (and set it high) in both the smart phone and tablet industries, Apple continues to innovate and raise the bar out of the grasp of its competitors.
Tablet manufacturers know that they cannot compete with iPad 2 — at least not at the same price level. Recently, HP (HPQ) permanently reduced the price of its TouchPad by $100; Motorola (MMI) already dropped the price of its Xoom wi-fi tablet by $100 a few months ago. And Lenovo’s new IdeaPad was priced below the iPad 2 from its release. These are all signs of inferior products.
In the smart phone market, Apple hasn’t released a new phone in over a year, the last being the iPhone 4, yet it has huge market share in the smart phone industry. Google’s (GOOG) Android does have greater market share, but it required third-party companies to develop and release new phones almost every month to achieve the same goal. Apple is much more streamlined; it releases at most one new phone a year while controlling the development and production of both its hardware and software to maximize profits. With the recent stock decline, I believe now is the time to buy.
Whether you support Apple or Google in the smart phone war, Corning seems like the only stock pick to win. Corning makes a material that has grown to become a necessity in touch screen devices, Gorilla Glass. This is not your everyday window pane; this glass is made of alkali-aluminosilicate thin-sheet glass. In other words, it is almost un-scratchable and more than tough enough to handle the daily wear and tear. Most importantly, Apple uses this glass for its iPhone and iPad. Per CNBC, “Over 200 million devices with Gorilla Glass have sold and after just three years on the market it has 20 percent of the phone market.” And as the smart phone and tablet industries further expand, Corning should reap the rewards.