2014 was always going to be a big year for the smartphone market, with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:0059935) having ambitious plans for its Galaxy range, and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) preparing an iPhone 6 for release which is set to blow the socks off consumers all over the world. But in the last few weeks, a number of the big players in the mobile marketplace have been moving their pieces into position as a raft of smartphone releases near release. Here is a rundown of all of the biggest smartphone releases that we can expect in the coming weeks and months.
Amazon 3D Phone
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has recently put out some enticing commercials that suggest the eye-tracking 3D smartphone that consumers have been eagerly awaiting since last year is now on the horizon. Minimal details are available with regard to this device as of yet, but with Amazon having been reportedly working on its first smartphone release for over a year, one can expect a pretty strong first showing as and when it is released.
The tablet market has already been set alight by the Kindle Fire, which gives Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) an excellent grounding in producing consumer electronics. The fact that this smartphone reportedly feature a 3D portable screen suggests that Amazon will not be content for it to be just another smartphone, and is instead attempting to imbue it with unique features and functionality. Controlling the device by gestures is one such feature, and it will be very interesting to see what Amazon comes up with and how quickly the other major manufacturers respond to Amazon’s innovations.
Samsung Galaxy F
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:0059935) has not officially announced this rival to the mooted iPhone 6, but leaks over the last couple of days have indicated that it is well under construction and could be set for a September unveiling. The Galaxy F will thus go pretty much head-to-head with the iPhone in what will undoubtedly be a bruising encounter for someone.
According to the latest reports, the Galaxy F will be armed with a killer spec list when it is released. A 5.1-inch, 2K display with a 2560×1440-pixel resolution is a particular highlight, but Samsung is also keeping up its taste for high quality cameras by including a 16-megapixel snapper in this flagship device. The Galaxy F will run off Android 4.4.2 KitKat, and will unquestionably be one of the most important and prestigious smartphone releases of this or any other year.
Apple iPhone 6
The Apple iPhone 6 is guaranteed to get tongues wagging, when Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) eventually gets round to confirming its existence! For months, Apple fans have hungrily consumed the latest news, rumors and leaks about this key smartphone release, but Apple have thus far remained resolutely silent regarding what to expect.
What we do know is that two models of the iPhone are extremely likely, with murmurings persisting that Apple will release a phablet-sized iPhone 6 alongside a smaller version with a 4.7-inch screen. The most telling indication of what to expect from the iPhone 6 has been the indications from the supply chain that Apple could be set to abandon Gorilla Glass in favor of what they perceive to be the more robust Sapphire Glass. This indicates that Apple could be intending a design revolution for its latest flagship mobile.
Additionally, both Cantor Fitzgerald’s Brian White and Nikkei’s Yuichiro Kanematsu have indicated in the last 24 hours that Apple will release a companion smartwatch, almost certainly to be known as the iWatch, alongside the iPhone 6. If and when this announced officially, one can only imagine the hysteria and expectation…
Another big release expected in due course is the Nokia McLaren. This is particularly significant as Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has of course taken over Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V)’s phone business in recent months. Microsoft’s Windows Phones haven’t been hugely successful, so the impact of this handset is very significant for the world’s biggest producer of computer software.
A new report from @evleaks claims that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will release two mid-range Windows Phone 8.1 devices in the near future in the United States, but also more importantly that a flagship phone which has been codenamed McLaren will launch sometime this fall.
No-one knows quite what to expect from this new smartphone contender, with its precise specifications being kept very much under lock and key, but there is no doubt that Microsoft has high hopes for it. Whether it can make an impact in a crowded smartphone marketplace in which Apple and Samsung are hugely dominant remains to be seen.