August 16, 2012
Nokia, Microsoft Beat Apple To The Punch On New Product Announcement
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Confirming an earlier Bloomberg report, Nokia has said they will hold their very own media event with partner Microsoft, wherein they may introduce the very first Windows 8 phones. While new Nokia/Windows 8 phones could be exciting enough, the really interesting news about this announcement is the date: September 5th, just one week before Apple is highly expected to release their next phone.Nokia´s chief executive Stephen Elop didn´t give away any specifics about which phones they´ll be announcing, but earlier said his company would soon be releasing new Windows 8 phones.
It´s been difficult to understand which party needs one another more in this partnership between Microsoft and Nokia. As the Redmond company attempts to boost their phone offerings and become a larger, better selling player in the smartphone market, they need a trusted and reliable handset manufacturer with plenty of experience. Nokia, on the other, simply needs a platform with which to run on their devices, as well as a renewed sense of purpose. Their business, like most pre-2007 cell phone heavyweights, has been suffering in recent years, resulting in layoffs, cutbacks, and falling stocks.
As such, the two companies have been leaning heavily on one another to boost them to their former, pre-iPhone and Android glory.
Windows 8 Phone is their latest attempt to compete in what has recently evolved into a two-horse race between the Apple and Google platforms. Built upon the newest, upcoming Windows 8 kernel, Windows 8 Phone not only represents what Microsoft hopes will be a new surge into the smartphone race, it also represents a unification of the Microsoft ecosystem. Together, Windows 8 PCs and Tablets, Windows 8 Phone and Xbox 360 systems will provide users with one whole experience, similar to Apple´s Mac line, iOS devices, and Apple TV. With this sort of unification, Microsoft is making it easier for developers to write apps for the Windows 8 platform, an area where most companies fall short as they compete with Apple´s dominating presence and app ecosystem.
According to the rumor mill, Nokia could announce up to three new phones come September 5th, releasing them several weeks later in October when Windows 8 is released. In addition to reining in the Microsoft ecosystem, the new Nokia Windows 8 Phones are expected to take advantage of NFC technology, supporting mobile payments. The same technology is also largely expected to be included in Apple´s newest phone.
When asked about his decision to partner with Microsoft two years ago, Nokia´s Elop told reporters, "I don't think about rewinding the clock and thinking about competing elsewhere.”
"In today's war... (between) Android, Apple and Windows, we are very clear, we are fighting that with the Windows Phone."
One week after Nokia´s September 5th announcement, the world will shift their eyes to the American West Coast as Apple is expected to release their newest smartphone on September 12th, though no official announcement about this event has been made. According to the rumor mill, this new Apple smartphone will feature a larger display, breaking away from their typical 3.5-inch display. In addition to a 4-inch screen, the new iPhone is said to use 4G LTE connectivity, NFC technology and even a quad-core processor.
It´s unlikely that Nokia´s announcement will rob any of the spotlight from Apple´s announcement. However, and if history is any indication, this may be the only time to announce a new phone without it getting lost in the 2-3 month long hustle and bustle of a new iPhone launch.