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Samsung is chewing away at Apple's global share of smartphone profits, said Canaccord

Key Points
  • Canaccord Genuity has a new $180 price target on Apple.
  • The company expects greater iPhone sales in 2018.
  • Apple's share of industry profits shrinks as Samsung creeps in.
Apple CEO Tim Cook smiles during a product launch event on October 27, 2016 in Cupertino, California. Apple Inc. unveiled the latest iterations of its MacBook Pro line of laptops and TV app.
Stephen Lam | Getty Images

Apple's slice of industry smartphone profits slid from 88 percent during the fourth quarter of 2016 to 83 percent during the first quarter of 2017, Canaccord Genuity said Tuesday.

While that statistic speaks volumes about the power of iPhone profit margins, it also shows competitors are creeping up on Apple.

Canaccord raised Apple's price target to $180 based on anticipation of solid 2018 iPhone sales.

But there may be some rocky seas before the new iPhone launches.

Canaccord said Samsung's "improved results" helped chew away at Apple, while reduced losses from Sony and LG also helped even the playing field.

The financial services firm even included Chinese smartphone maker Huawei in the latest profit estimate report. Huawei is finally making inroads in the U.S. by selling devices that don't require carrier contracts through outlets such as Best Buy and Amazon.

Canaccord expects Apple's sales to slow through August as consumers anticipate the launch of the iPhone 8 in September. Apple CEO Tim Cook had the same sentiment in a recent exclusive interview with "Mad Money's" Jim Cramer, where he said leaks and rumors are beginning to crop up earlier, hurting iPhone sales.

Once the iPhone 8 launches, however, Apple's fortunes should be right back on track.

"Given the anticipated new form factor for the iPhone 8 combined with an ongoing strong mix of larger screen Plus models, we anticipate strong iPhone [average selling price] trends through C2018," Canaccord said in a note. The company modestly upgraded Apple's expected EPS for 2017, estimating a range of $10.93 to $11.58. The firm also reiterated its buy rating on the stock.

Also worth noting: Canaccord makes no mention of potential iPhone 8 delays.