GO
Loading...

Expect the New Samsung Galaxy to Look Familiar

Wednesday, 13 Mar 2013 | 2:59 PM ET
Getty Images

Don't expect a striking new look for Samsung's latest Galaxy smartphone.

The Korean company is scheduled to unveil its Galaxy S4 Thursday in New York City, but from a hardware standpoint, its likely most people won't be able to tell the difference between the new smartphone and its predecessor, the Galaxy SIII, said Tavis McCourt, a senior analyst for Raymond James.

(Read More: What to Expect From New Samsung Galaxy S4 Smartphone )

Samsung Taking a 'Byte' Out of Apple?
A look at how to play Apple ahead of Samsung's launch of its new Galaxy S4 tomorrow, with Tavis McCourt, Raymond James analyst.

"One of the takeaways from this is just going to be that there is very little, in terms of differentiation, that you can still do on hardware in this space. The smartphone space is starting to be a lot like the laptop space in terms of the degree of differences in the hardware get less and less and really the differentiation is in software," McCourt said.

Many in the investment community scrutinized Apple for the iPhone 5 not being very different from the iPhone 4 in regards to its form factor. But Samsung's new smartphone is likely to awaken people to the fact that there is just not much more smartphone makers can do when it comes to changing the hardware of smartphones.

(Read More: Apple vs. Samsung—Size Matters: Blodget )

"I think people are going to start to realize that it's not just Apple," McCourt said. "I don't expect a lot of new bells and whistles to the Galaxy S4 relative to the Galaxy SIII. It will have a better processor, a better screen a better camera.. You know, in terms of getting things thinner and lighter, there's a limit to what you can do, and I think we are kind of there."

The next big leap in smartphone hardware will probably be bendable screens, but it won't be debuting until at least 2014, he said. It remains unclear how companies will incorporate bendable screens into smartphones and if it will appeal to consumers.

With the smartphone hardware being pushed to the limits, McCourt said that ultimately software will become the most important factor for consumers to consider when choosing a phone.

"This is the logical conclusion to the form factor that started in 2007. It's going to start to come down to well, do you want the iOS operating system or do you want the Android operating system," he said."I don't think there's going to be tremendous differentiation in hardware from this point forward."

Featured

Contact Technology

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More
  • Matt Hunter is the senior technology editor at CNBC.com.

  • Cadie Thompson is a tech reporter for the Enterprise Team for CNBC.com.

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.

  • Jon Fortt is an on-air editor. He covers the companies, start-ups, and trends that are driving innovation in the industry.

  • Lipton is CNBC's technology correspondent, working from CNBC's Silicon Valley bureau.

  • Mark is CNBC's Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bureau Chief covering technology and digital media.