Unveiling the Most Powerful Smartphones
Somnath is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
The smartphone war is on. There is a whole lot of movement in the mobility device market.
Nokia (NYSE: NOK) unveiled the company's most powerful smartphone, the new LUMIA on Wednesday. The company launched two new handsest running on Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows software, and also unveiled a recharging 'pillow' that does away with the need to plug in a cable.
Motorola (NYSE: MMI) CEO Dennis Woodside on Wednesday (5th September) unveiled three members of the Razr smartphone family. It was the first major act for the handset maker and its new leadership since Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) finished its acquisition of the company in March.
A day after, on Thursday (6th September) Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos unwrapped the new Kindle Fire. The Kindle Fire HD will come in two versions, a 7-inch and a larger, 8.9-inch.
Apple is expected to unveil the latest version of its iPhone (iPhone5) on September 12.
A line of as many as three Windows Phone 8 handsets will probably be the focus of HTC's announcements next Wednesday (19th September).
And then there's Samsung, which continues to push its Galaxy devices even after losing a patent-infringement case to Apple.
The Lumia 920 and smaller Lumia 820 will run on the latest Windows Phone operating software, which Microsoft hopes will rival Apple's iOS and Google's Android to become a third mobile platform. If the new phones do not appeal to consumers, it could spell doom for loss-making Nokia and give a serious blow to Microsoft's attempts to regain its footing in the market.
The stakes are high for both Nokia and Microsoft. Nokia’s share of the global smartphone market has plunged to less than 10 percent from 50 percent during its heyday.
Google’s Android operating system still holds the highest position in the market with a market share as follows :
Android – 68%
Apple – 17%
Windows – 3.7%
For Microsoft, successful Lumia sales could convince more handset makers and carriers to support its Windows Phone 8 software, which promises faster performance and a customizable start screen.
The main reason for the limited success of Windows phones is that they support only 100,000 or so apps, compared with about 500,000 or more for Android or iPhones. There is also the interconnection between apps and content, typified by Apple's iTunes and iCloud, which share content across devices, that acts as a powerful disincentive to switch between vendors.
The new phone software is similar to the Windows 8 desktop and tablet software to be released on October 26, making it easier for developers to write apps for both, and Microsoft hopes this will boost the platform's popularity.
The new Lumias could, however, benefit from the continuing decline in BlackBerry, and also from a recent legal blow to the Android operating system.
A California jury decided last month that some of Samsung's hot-selling Android smartphones copied features of the iPhone, which may result in import bans and drive handset makers to put more resources into making Windows-based phones.
The growing Android friendly consumers need to be really aroused by Nokia and Microsoft for them to exploit the window of opportunity for smartphones with Windows software. A lot needs to be watched in the weeks to come for the mobile handset companies.
If Nokia can regain the market, the upsurge will definitely help the stocks of Nokia and Microsoft to rise in the time to come.
SomnathGuha has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Amazon.com, Google, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Amazon.com, Apple, Google, and Nokia. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.