CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Phones

Apple Watch, iPhone 6 unveiling: Who are the winners and losers?

The new wearable and pair of smartphones have given a jolt to the tech industry. CNET looks at the reverberations for Apple's rivals and partners.

apple-iphone-6-plus.jpg
The iPhone 6, left, and iPhone 6 Plus should benefit plenty of companies. But there will be losers, too. CNET

With the unveiling of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones, as well as the Apple Watch, it's clear that Apple stands to gain a lot, with preorders already breaking records and hype building ahead of the new iPhones hitting the streets Friday.

But Apple doesn't operate in a vacuum, and there are a number of other surrounding companies that are affected -- for better or worse. It's been a week since the event at which Apple unveiled the new gadgets, and with the dust now settled, CNET takes a look at which companies will be jumping for joy and which ones will be left out in the cold.

The company last Tuesday unveiled its big-screen smartphones, as well as a mobile-payment system called Apple Pay and a wearable device called Apple Watch, which doesn't come out until next year. The handful of new items from Apple -- the most valuable company in the world, by market capitalization -- should reverberate across the tech industry, making the Cupertino, Calif.-based company a tougher competitor to some, while a new friend to others.

Handset makers

Losers: HTC, LG, Sony, and other handset manufacturers

Loser (but with bragging rights): Samsung

Samsung last week started running a commercial taking a dig at Apple for copycatting its larger-screen Galaxy Note smartphone, which was introduced three years ago -- and mocked at the time for looking like a piece of toast.

It's true that Samsung pioneered the bigger-screen smartphone, also known as a "phablet," so it earns a small win for bringing forward a trendsetting phone. However, Samsung overall is a loser from the iPhone 6 launch, since whatever kudos it receives for the Note design won't mean much for the company if Apple manages to start stealing its customers with the iPhone 6 Plus, its first phablet.

Fresh competition from Cupertino should also hurt LG, HTC, and other manufacturers, which already struggled against the year-old iPhone 5S. Consumers are going to look at their offerings less with a new Apple smartphone out.

Wireless carriers

Winners: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile

Toss-up: Sprint

A new iPhone always brings with it a bumper crop in wireless customers reupping their two-year contracts, which should benefit Verizon and AT&T, the two biggest wireless carriers in the US.

Also, even though it doesn't offer two-year contracts or the subsidies that come with them, T-Mobile should benefit from the iPhone, given that its aggressive marketing as the lowest-cost carrier has helped it bring in millions of new customers. T-Mobile CEO John Legere in July said he saw the iPhone 6 launch as a major opportunity to get customers to switch over to his company as they shop around for a deal. Last Wednesday after the iPhone launch, T-Mobile held a press conference touting his carrier's ability to handle Wi-Fi calling -- unique in the US.

The only major wireless provider that may not benefit from the new smartphone is Sprint, since iPhone launches over the years have resulted in a spike in customers fleeing to competitors. The company, which has been losing customers for years, is trying to rewrite that script under a new CEO by rebranding itself as a lower-cost carrier, like T-Mobile, and offering special plans specifically for iPhone customers, including an unlimited talk, text and data plan for $50 a month. That may help staunch the bleeding.

apple-iphone-6-plus-9.jpg
Plenty of people plan to pocket a new iPhone 6 starting this Friday, when the smartphone officially goes on sale. CNET

Components suppliers

Winners: NXP, Corning, ARM, Qualcomm, Broadcom

Loser: GT Advanced Technologies

Chipmaker NXP may not be known by many US customers, but it's gaining a lot of attention as the company that's reportedly powering the iPhone 6's new mobile-payment system. The Netherlands-based company, which spun off Royal Philips in 2006, has become a major player in near-field communication, or NFC, a technology that allows for touchless, short-distance interaction between a mobile device and other electronic objects. NFC has been used to allow customers to pay for items at a register by waving their phones instead of swiping their cards, something that could be more of a habit after the iPhone 6 starts to sell.

Also, glassmaker Corning appears to be the clear winner after months of rumors that Apple could be switching its display cover from Corning's Gorilla Glass to sapphire crystal, a more scratch-resistant though expensive and potentially more brittle material. No sapphire appeared in the iPhone 6 display cover, but it will be on some Apple Watches. That proved a disappointment for GT Advanced Technologies, the company Apple partnered with to create sapphire. Since Apple's announcement last week, shares of GT Advanced tumbled 31 percent, as of Monday's close.

ARM Holdings, whose technology was likely the basis for Apple's new A8 microprocessor in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, will benefit from the new smartphone. So too will wireless chipmaker Qualcomm and Wi-Fi chipmaker Broadcom, which are also likely part of the new phones.

Mobile payment providers

Winners: Visa, MasterCard, American Express

Losers: Google, Softcard, PayPal

Google, eBay's PayPal and joint venture Softcard (formerly Isis) -- made up of three of the nation's largest wireless operators -- are among the many companies that have spent years and millions of dollars trying to convince consumers they should cut up their plastic credit cards and instead pay for things with a smartphone or mobile app. They all now will have to face off against Apple Pay, the company's new mobile-payment system. Mobile payments have yet to take off, with few people regularly using these systems -- there's been little good reason to switch from swiping credit cards. Time will tell whether Apple will succeed in mobile payments where other major players have fallen flat.

Payment companies Visa, MasterCard and American Express all signed on for Apple Pay, which should drive more transactions on their payment networks and bring them one step closer to moving customers away from cash and checks.

Wearable companies

Toss-up: Pebble, Fitbit, Jawbone, Samsung, Sony, Motorola

The new Apple Watch is a fresh competitor in the quickly growing field of wearable devices, but could also provide momentum -- like with Apple Pay -- to a technology that isn't quite mainstream yet.

Also, since the Apple Watch is so directly tied to the iPhone, it's possible that this gadget isn't the item that makes or breaks a consumer's decision on whether to buy one wearable or another.

Still, having another smartwatch in the market means stiffer competition for everything from fitness trackers to full-blown watches running on Google's Android Wear software.

Winner: Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple's leader came out with enough new ideas and, with its wearable, a new product category for Apple, and in so doing seems to have quieted -- for now -- critics who'd fretted that his version of Apple can't innovate. And early indications show that the newest iPhone will be a success for the company, allowing it to fend off its many competitors in the smartphone space it helped get off the ground.