Market Overview

Smartphone Study is Good News for Apple, Bad News for Canon

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Samsung, Nokia (NYSE: NOK), Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) and other smartphone manufacturers can rejoice in the news that consumers are repeatedly turning to their cellular devices to perform a wide array of tasks.

According to PCMag, 82 percent of smartphone users turn on the device just to take a picture, while 80 percent turn it on to send or receive a text message. More than half (56 percent) turn it on to surf the Web; 50 percent do so to send or receive an e-mail.

These findings are not as surprising as they are damaging to companies that produce specific-use devices. Canon (NYSE: CAJ), for example, does not make cellular devices. But it produces a number of digital cameras, including several pocket-sized devices. If Consumers are reaching for their smartphones instead of an actual camera to take photos, Canon's future could be in jeopardy.

Year-to-date Canon shares are down more than 22 percent. The company experienced a few spikes during the summer months, gaining more than 12 percent. Those gains were all but diminished as investors abandoned the stock at the end of the season. They came back in September, raising Canon shares by 14 percent. Those gains were short-lived, however. In the weeks that followed, the company lost more than 17 percent of its value.

Up until this week, Canon had been experiencing another spike, rallying 15 percent since November 14. Those gains have not been able to offset the company's overall losses, however.

At the same time, Apple's shares have been indirectly enhanced by the camera featured in the iPhone. While no single stock move can be attributed to its photographic capabilities, it is no secret that millions of consumers purchased the iPhone 5 for its camera. Despite having endured a three-month decline of more than 13 percent, Apple shares are still up more than 42 percent year-to-date.

Follow me @LouisBedigianBZ

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