Even though last week was a short week, there was a lot of new handset news in the mobile industry. It definitely feels like the manufacturers are gearing up for the holiday season.
Kicking things off, rumors about the iPhone becoming available outside of AT&T continue to grow, which given the results of a JD Power and Associates study highlighting AT&T’s poor network performance, can’t happen soon enough for many people. The chic rumor is that the iPhone is coming to Verizon given Apple’s orders for CDMA chipsets. While this is what most people want, another possibility raised last week is that Apple is creating a “world-phone” iPhone. In other words, one device that is compatible with mobile networks around the world. I think this a better possibility than a Verizon iPhone. A “world-phone” iPhone could also lead to the phone landing on T-mobile, which is another rumor that is gaining momentum. Of course, Apple’s lips are sealed, so I don’t suspect that we will know anything until the day after it happens, at best!
Speaking of AT&T, executives at the company have implied that the new BlackBerry Torch sales are not meeting expectations. Not a good sign for BlackBerry, who is continuing to struggle against the rising tide of Android devices. It is also rumored that many of BlackBerry’s best customers, like financial institutions, are starting to experiment with iPhone and Android devices. As I mentioned before, BlackBerry would be best served to keep their “bread-and-butter” enterprise customers happy and forget about competing in the consumer market.
In Android news, T-mobile announced the G2 device – the follow-on to the G1 who many consider “the original” Android device. The device looks great on paper, but the best part could be that it will run a stock Android build. In other words, no carrier crapware or special UI’s like Sense, TouchWiz or MotoBlur. If my NexusOne is any indication, this means that it will be one of the first devices to get new Android builds, which I’ve found to be one of the best, if not the best, feature of the NexusOne.
Another hot rumor last week is that Microsoft will launch Windows Phone 7 October 11 in a flashy New York City event. Microsoft has committed over $500MM to the launch of their latest mobile OS, so I would expect this event to be quite the party. Unfortunately, I don’t think that I’ll be on the invite list, but I’m willing to tag along as someone’s guest if you need company for the week….
Finally, Nokia is preparing to launch the Nokia N8, their latest attempt to head off the iPhone and Android juggernaut. In order to build buzz for the device, they released a rather racy, but not over the top, interactive video featuring a self-described “sizzling hot” model. Is Nokia worried that the N8 cannot stand on its own, or is this a genius move by Nokia to create buzz about the device? I’ve embedded the video below, and I’ll let you be the judge.