Google, Microsoft take on iPhone 5

2012-09-06 12:17

New York - Google and Microsoft have introduced new champions in the fiercely competitive smartphone arena a week ahead of what is likely to be the hotly-anticipated debut of a next-generation iPhone by Apple.

Microsoft and Nokia joined to boost their smartphone arsenal with two new Lumia handsets powered by Windows 8 software.

The Nokia Lumia 820 and 920 are part of the Finnish-based company's strategy of offering "an alternative to the faceless black and grey monoblocs that you see out there", said Nokia president and chief executive Stephen Elop at a New York launch event.

"This is Lumia, the world's most innovative smartphone," Elop said in unveiling the two new devices.

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer also appeared at the event, which offered no specifics on launch dates or prices in various markets.


Later in the day, Motorola Mobility added three powerful Android smartphones to its Droid family in a separate event in New York City.

The additions of Razr M, Razr HD, and Razr Maxx HD to the Motorola line-up came as the first major product news from the company since it was bought by internet giant Google a year ago in a $12.5bn deal.

The Razr smartphones are powered by Google's Android software and synched to the US telecom network of Verizon Wireless.

The media events in Manhattan shined early spotlights on Microsoft and Android mobile gadget platforms that compete with Apple iOS and drew attention to handsets that will compete with iPhones for holiday shoppers' cash.

"[Microsoft and Google] platforms are really out-innovating Apple but that might not matter to consumers," said Gartner Research vice president of mobile computing Ken Delaney.

"The consumer goes into a store with a heavy bias to buy an Apple product and you have to do a lot to unseat them from that love affair."

Delaney predicted that if Apple debuts an iPhone 5 as expected in San Francisco on 12 September, it will be a "monster event" that sets the stage for blockbuster sales.


Apple this week sent e-mail invitations with the cryptic message, "It's almost here", and a large number "12" casting a shadow that appeared to be the number five, suggesting that the event would spotlight the long-anticipated iPhone 5.

Leaks and rumours portray the new iPhone as having a larger touch screen than its predecessor and say that it will be available by the end of the month.

Demand for what is being referred to as "iPhone 5" is likely to be hot, with analysts convinced that many people in the market for handsets have put off purchases to wait for the latest offering from Apple.

"While our checks indicated consumers are delaying iPhone 4S purchases in anticipation of the iPhone 5, we anticipate an LTE iPhone 5 with a new hardware form factor will result in record iPhone sales," said Canaccord Genuity brokerage firm said in a note to investors.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has gone on record predicting that Apple could sell as many as 10 million iPhone 5 handsets the week of its release.

Smartphones powered by Google's Android software continued to dominate with 52.2% of the US market, but Apple's iOS was the second most popular smartphone platform with 33.4%, according to comScore.

Nokia, once the leader in mobile phones, has been losing market share as consumers move to smartphones powered by Apple's iOS or Google's Android operating system.


The Finnish company's new strategy is phasing out its Symbian smartphones in favour of a partnership with Microsoft.

"This is all about the comeback for Windows Phone and for Nokia," Delaney said after attending the New York event held by the companies.

"I think they have a shot here," he continued. "They could take some share from Android and some from Apple."

Nokia created "great hardware" for the Lumia line and loaded it with software that "out-distances it in a number of areas from Google and Apple," according to the analyst.

  • rlong1952 - 2012-09-06 12:36

    Always have loved Nokia phones, tough, beautiful and reliable, hope this works out for them. Competition is always good, so I have my fingers crossed for them.

      klippies.coke.7 - 2012-09-06 12:57

      Nokia should have gone with Google. I think they made a huge mistake

      lydonmcg - 2012-09-06 13:47

      As an iPhone user, Windows Phone is the only reason I'm now considering getting a Nokia. It all depends on what Apple pull out of the bag next week.

  • bazza19824 - 2012-09-06 13:42

    Article in U.K: Nokia shares nose-dived as it unveiled its latest Windows-powered smartphone in what may be its last chance at winning back a lucrative market lost to rivals. Analysts were unimpressed by its Lumia 920 This was a hi-tech ritzy launch in New York and the first four minutes of the webcast dropped out. There was no sound, the picture was coming and going - it was not quite the image they wanted to present. Hmmmm can't even get a launch right, let alone trust it's new phones. But maybe I am a biased iPhone user!

      alexander.lombard - 2012-09-06 14:15

      You got hooked by the "i". Shame I got too. I boaght an I pad and now had to spend R400 on software to just recover my media from the damn thing and getting a way to bypass iStore for half decent cover art. The first device where I can copy and paste files from and too my device with a none complicated file manager will win. Also the new office mobile is going to kick ass with the integrated skype. Who cares if apple has more apps. Most do not deliver and is heavy on the SA-expensive data. While keeping up with tradition microsoft just delivers a full product with most things you need.

      raven.sqarr - 2012-09-06 14:54

      @ alexander.lombard - i am now fully behind nokia. File transfer from skydrive (MS cloud) is like copy/paste of a file. Integration with a pc is seamless. Official full versions of all the usual programs comes standard, i.e. Office, Adobe, Skype, X-Box,etc. It fully integrates socially without hassle - and Nokia Drive GPS is brilliant

      bazza19824 - 2012-09-06 17:18

      @ alexander, Microsoft ActiveSync was very unreliable, and on Windows 7 I found Windows Mobile Device Center no better so hence the reason switched over to 'i'. Had no problems since. If the new Windows 8 devices provide seamless reliable sync with Windows 7 or 8 on a PC then I will go back to that operating system. But for now, will be using my iDevices along with iCloud, as I have never had no problems.

  • petrivoges - 2012-09-06 15:18

    The slice per price is not up to scratch. Premium Nokia products cost almost more than an Iphone. I'm willing to pay that for an Iphone because these guys consistently deliver. Sorry Nokia, our paths have separated 'never' to be crossed again.

      alexander.lombard - 2012-09-06 15:40

      Constanly is reletave as iPhone is still very new the rest will soon outpase iDevices. Apple as a culture of none integration since it started. iDevices is flashy and very good do simple tasks and some entertainment. Trying to use it at the workplace or as a tool and it fails. If you look at the future of these things their real potential will be to help you be more productive. iDevices you need to BUY the friken manual and spend a few days figuring out that you need an app that costs a few bucks and that you might only want to use once ot twice in your life. NICE TOY

      oscar.pretorius.52 - 2012-09-06 19:42

      @alexander tbh I don't think you know how to use your Apple device if you having so many hassles...

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