Top Stories
Top Stories

When it comes to Apple versus Samsung, every little bit counts on Wall Street

Tale of two smartphones

In the fiercely competitive smartphone market, Apple could not have scripted better timing for Samsung's phone recall, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster told CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Monday.

Samsung's 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 phone recall comes amid an otherwise muted iPhone 7 launch and a key launch window other handset franchises, Munster said.

Prior to the recent news, Samsung had been the leading worldwide smartphone vendor in the second quarter, according to research from IDC. The firm estimates that Samsung shipped 77 million smartphones in the second quarter, ahead of Apple's 40.4 million.

It's still unclear how Samsung and Apple will fare amid recent news. But if Samsung loses 10 percent of its Galaxy sales during the recall, it could push Apple's iPhone numbers up a couple of percent, Munster estimates.

"Might not sound like much, but in this hyper-scrutinized investor concern on the health of the iPhone franchise, every percent counts," Munster said.

Tim Cook
Mark Neuling | CNBC

The iPhone 7's powerful camera, and a large share of customers with older iPhone looking to upgrade, adds some gravy to Apple's good fortune, Munster said.

To be sure, Munster is more optimistic on Apple than the average Wall Street analyst. He as a $151 price target on the stock, well above the $121.81 mean of analysts in FactSet. But he said it comes as Apple has introduced new strategies, like its upgrade program, to add predictability to its business and pressure carriers.

"That's what investors have asked for," Munster said, adding that it shows Apple is "being creative in terms of how they can get people to upgrade their phones faster."

Disclosure: Piper Jaffray makes a market in shares of Apple and buys and sells the securities on a principal basis.