Next week will witness a number of launches from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) competitors, including Nokia/Microsoft, Motorola, and Amazon. Let’s take a look at them briefly using data from a Stifel Nicholas report out today:
Nokia Corporation (NASDAQ:NOK) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will be holding a joint press conference on September 5 in New York. Highlights of the event will be the launch of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone 8 smartphones with 3.5-4.5inch touchscreens and some combination of 4G LTE and NFC. The new Nokia Corporation (NASDAQ:NOK) Lumia powered with Windows phone 8 will target both the low end and the high end smartphone market. Despite Windows Phone 7 becoming obsolete, Nokia Corporation (NASDAQ:NOK) could also unveil a small number of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone 7.8 devices for the low-end smartphone market, having 3.5-4.0 inch touchscreen with potential 4G LTE connectivity.
On the same day and city, September 5 in New York City, Motorola Solutions Inc (NYSE:MSI) is expected to launch its new Razr smartphone models for the Verizon’s Droid franchise. The new Droid Razr smartphone is expected to feature 4.0-4.5inch touchscreen and 4G LTE connectivity and possibly NFC. The soon to be launched iPhone 5 will definitely limit the sales of the Motorola devices in the critical holiday season. Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) subsidiary will be cautious in disclosing the features of its new smartphone, even more so, after the patent dispute going in the favor of the iPhone maker. It could be that Motorola Solutions Inc (MSI) signed an agreement with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in Germany this week for licensing some of its patents at a yet-to-be-decided royalty rate. Not to forget, the U.S. International Trade Commission, in a ruling last week, gave a clean chit to Apple, stating that it did not infringe on three of the four standards-essential Motorola Solutions Inc wireless patents, with the fourth still under review. Prior to Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) , Motorola Solutions Inc disclosed its smartphone shipments, which totaled 19.6mn for the prior trailing twelve months (versus iPhone shipments at 109.5mn). Gartner estimates that Motorola’s smartphone shipments totaled approximately 4.6mn in C2Q12, or reflective of only a 3% shipment share.
Just a day after, September 6 in Los Angeles, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) will host a press conference, possibly to introduce an updated Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire tablet (after the earlier version have already been declared to be ‘sold out’) with a better display, camera, and also a body that is thinner/lighter. There have been talks of a (8-9inch) Amazon.com, Inc. tablet. Amazon.com, Inc. is expected to come up win an improved Kindle Fire, much thinner and lighter and also equipped with higher resolution display and possibly a camera. The online retailer could also announce Kindle e-readers to compete with Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) ‘s Nook Simple Touch.
The soon to launch iPhone 5 in September and a smaller iPad form-factor in October, will surely revamp the smartphone market and tablet landscape. The latest patent victory of the Cupertino based company, over their rival, Samsung, rings a possible warning for the Android based devices that will be unfavorable to Motorola and other Android hardware partners’ future roadmaps and further differentiate Apple’s hardware/software platform. As far as Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) is concerned, the launch of iPhone before that of Nokia’s, will give Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) enough time to capture and expand market share in the critical holiday selling season.