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8/20/2012
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Apple, Motorola, Nokia Plan September Fireworks

Nokia and Microsoft, and Motorola and Verizon Wireless have scheduled back-to-back press conferences on September 5 in an apparent attempt to outflank Apple's expected iPhone 5 debut.

Windows Phone 8 Preview: A Visual Tour
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Windows Phone 8 Preview: A Visual Tour
Remember, remember the 5th of September. It'll be the day that Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, and Verizon Wireless look to beat Apple to the smartphone punch. Apple is widely expected to announce the next-generation iPhone on September 12.

Nokia and Microsoft have a press conference scheduled for the morning of September 5. The companies are believed to be planning the formal introduction of Windows Phone 8 and the first batch of hardware from Nokia to run the newest smartphone platform from Microsoft.

Microsoft has already provided a small taste of what to expect in Windows Phone 8, but has refrained from showing off many of the new platform's user-facing features. Nokia has voiced support for Windows Phone 8, and appears to be Microsoft's preferred hardware partner for the launch. (Probably because Nokia is "all-in" with Windows Phone at this point.)

Can Nokia and Microsoft deliver a knock-out punch, or will it be another glancing blow?

[ It is going to be a busy fall for most wireless companies. Read RIM To Sprinkle Android Mojo Into BlackBerry 10. ]

Late last week, Motorola and Verizon Wireless invited media to a press event, which is to also take place on September 5 in New York City. The event hints that we'll see something in high definition. What could this be?

Images and details leaked over the course of the last few weeks show a new Motorola smartphone that has an HD display. It's possible that this is the handset that Motorola will introduce at its September 5 event. The fact that Motorola is holding the event jointly with Verizon Wireless tells us that it is likely to be Verizon's flagship Android smartphone heading into the holiday quarter. Verizon and Motorola have worked closely together since the 2009 introduction of the Motorola Droid.

Motorola, like several other handset makers, has said that it plans to focus on fewer phones moving forward, and will target the high end of the market. The HD device slated for probable debut on September 5 would fit into that strategy.

Motorola and Nokia clearly want to get their products out into the minds of consumers before Apple's iPhone 5 is fully revealed. I don't blame them.

Though Apple has not confirmed anything about the iPhone 5, September 12 is pegged as the day Apple will reveal its next-generation smartphone. Given how Apple usually works, invitations for the September 12 event will be dispersed on or about September 5.

Yeah, it's going to be a September to remember.

Don't be distracted by native vs. browser or iPhone vs. Android. Our survey shows functionality matters most when developing for mobile. Also in the new, all-digital The App Flap issue of InformationWeek: Verify that your cloud service provider's controls will actually protect your data. (Free registration required.)

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