Apple’s iPhone, plus reveals from Nokia, Motorola, Amazon, HTC coming this month

September 5, 2012

Technology watchers’ calendars got a little fuller Tuesday, with Apple’s confirmation that it will hold a major press event on Sept. 12 — believed to be the launch of its next iPhone. But even without Apple's event, September is shaping up to be a busy month of gadget launches as companies prepare for the holiday season.

Nokia and Motorola kick off this month’s crop of events Wednesday, with announcements in New York.

Nokia is expected to take the wraps off a new flagship Windows phone Wednesday that runs the latest Windows Phone 8 software. The phones are follow-ups to the Nokia Lumia 900, the flagship phone for Windows Phone 7 manufactured after the Finnish smartphone maker teamed up with Microsoft.

The Lumia 900 — a solid, innovative phone — did well but not as well as the companies likely hoped. Its price was recently slashed to $49.99 from an original price of $99, after Nokia and Microsoft announced that the phone would not be compatible with the upcoming version of Windows Phone.

The new operating system will be more flexible than its predecessor, with the addition of customizable tiles as well as including voice control and more integration between mobile and desktop devices.

According to the Verge, the new phone will be called the Lumia 920 and have a couple of neat features such as cordless charging and an 8 MP PureView camera with software that improves camera stability.

Nokia’s press conference follows Samsung’s unveiling last week of the first Window Phone 8 device, the ATIV S.

Not to be outdone, Motorola and Verizon are holding their own Wednesday event in New York, where the companies are expected to announce the next Droid smartphone.

The phone is expected to be called the Droid Razr M, Boy Genius Report said in a post on the subject, and will reportedly have a Kevlar case like its predecessors, the Droid Razr and Droid Razr Maxx.

Of course, the phone also is expected to have the same super-slim profile as its older siblings. Engadget reports that the phone could also have a 1.5 GHZ dual-core processor, a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, an 8MP rear camera and a 3MP front-facing camera.

HTC will have its own launch event on Sept. 19, which Mashable wrote is likely also a Windows Phone 8 launch. HTC had been a prominent Android phone maker, but has been falling in recent months and may be looking to diversify its offerings as well.

Finally, Amazon is planning its own big reveal Thursday in Santa Monica, Calif. The companyis expected to announce the launch of a new version of the Kindle Fire.

The event’s location could be a clue that Amazon has something big to announce on the video front — a component of its Amazon Prime service that the company’s been building out aggressively in recent months. The first Kindle Fire announcement, after all, was in New York, the heart of the publishing industry.

There are conflicting rumors, though, about what the new Kindle Fire will look like. The conventional wisdom since the first Kindle Fire came out last September is that the next Kindle Fire — or Kindle Fires — would branch out into different screen sizes to more effectively take on Apple’s iPad. Right now, the Kindle Fire is one of the only 7-inch tablets worth buying, but it hasn’t taken a real run at Apple’s larger tablet market. With rumors that Apple is planning to play in the market for smaller tablets, Amazon could be looking to diversify.

Then again, they may not. CNET reported late last month that Amazon is planning to “double down” on the smaller tablet market and will only release a higher-end version of its current tablet on Thursday. The new version of the Fire, the report said, would have more impressive specs such as a faster processor, a camera, an HDMI port (which would let you hook your tablet up to your TV) and physical volume buttons. The tablet, the report said, will also have more internal memory, but will still not be expandable.

Related stories:

New iPhone? Apple issues invites for Sept. 12 event

AP: Amazon says Kindle Fire is sold out, as announcement of new model expected

Samsung’s ATIV S: First for Windows Phone 8

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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