Apple Inc on Tuesday invited members of the media to an event on Wednesday next week in San Francisco for what is expected to be the debut of a new-generation iPhone.
E-mail invitations bore the cryptic message, “It’s almost here” and a large number “12” casting a shadow that appeared to be the number five, suggesting that the event would spotlight the long-anticipated iPhone 5.
Leaks and rumors portray the new iPhone as having a larger touch-screen than its predecessor and say that it is to be available by the end of the month.
Demand for what is being referred to as the “iPhone 5” is likely to be high, with analysts convinced that many people in the market for handsets have put off purchases to wait for the latest Apple offering.
“While our checks indicated consumers are delaying iPhone 4S purchases in anticipation of the iPhone 5, we anticipate an LTE iPhone 5 with a new hardware form factor will result in record iPhone sales,” Canaccord Genuity brokerage firm said in a note to investors.
Apple shares ended the official trading day at US$674.97 and then inched up to US$675.25 in after-market trades.
Samsung Electronics Co mobile phones remained the most popular in the US with 25.6 percent of the market, but third-place Apple gained ground to claim 16.3 percent as of the end of July, according to industry tracker comScore.
Microsoft Corp, Google Inc and Amazon.com are out to grab spotlights ahead of the Apple event with announcements of their own this week.
Nokia Oyj and Microsoft were set to host a media event in New York yesterday, most likely to launch one or more smartphones using the Windows Phone 8 operating system.
Nokia on Tuesday unveiled a free music streaming service for US customers with its Lumia handsets, without ads, as the firm seeks to gain traction in the smartphone market.
The Finnish company, once the leader in mobile phones, has been losing market share as consumers move to smartphones powered by Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android operating system.
Google-owned Motorola Mobility and US telecom titan Verizon Wireless were also set to host their own New York event yesterday, with analysts predicting they were to introduce a beefed-up Razr smartphone powered by Android software.
Today, Amazon.com is expected to debut a new version of its popular Kindle tablets at an event in Southern California.
Meanwhile, Taiwan-based consumer electronics titan HTC Corp (宏達電) plans a Sept. 19 event in New York, at which it is expected to unveil slick new smartphones powered by Microsoft’s new Windows 8 mobile software platform.