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By special request, a quick guest appearance on Simon Conway's afternoon program on WHO Radio. There's been a lot of drama in the smartphone market over the last few days, and here's a recap:
- Apple launched the iPhone 5c and 5s to great fanfare and impressive sales numbers. Launching two phones with jargon-y names at the same time seems uncharacteristic of Apple -- one would have thought they'd separated the two models better if they wanted to attract the remaining non-smartphone-using holdouts, who represent the final frontier for smartphone adoption. Casual users aren't going to have a clear understanding of the differences among the models. (In short, the 5S is the fastest and lightest, with up to 64 Gb of storage and a 64-bit processor. The 5C is also new, but it weighs more and doesn't have the 5S's fingerprint sensor. Both share the 8-megapixel camera with the iPhone 4S, but their display resolution is higher and they both use the Lightning connector instead of the giant old 30-pin connector.) Apple says it sold nine million new phones and ran out of stock.
- Nokia (soon to be absorbed into Microsoft -- in the first quarter of next year) took a dig with a snarky Twitter post teasing Apple for "imitation". As of this afternoon, the comment had been re-tweeted 40,000 times. The early reviews of the Nokia Lumia 1020 smartphone with the 41-megapixel camera have been reasonably positive, and it would be very good for the smartphone consumer for a third major player to flex its muscle in the market. Microsoft really needs to get more apps in its library to really make their smartphones sell.
- BlackBerry, meanwhile, is the target of a friendly takeover offer by a company that owns 10% of the company already. Fairfax Financial Holdings, the over-taker, is a Canadian insurance conglomerate, and while BlackBerry would be far outside their normal scope of operations, taking the company off the stock market may give it a chance at survival.
- Samsung and the rest of the Android universe don't seem to have spilled any major news onto the market this weekend, but rest assured that some corner of the Android universe will pop up with something new in the coming days. There's been too much buzz about the other players for them to remain quiet. Samsung could be said to have initiated the news rush lately with their new phone-tablet hybrid and smartwatch.