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August 2011 Roundup
31st August 2011
One of the busiest months for a long time, August saw some significant new handsets along with some major upheavals in the industry itself.
Nokia introduced a new naming convention at the start of the month to try to get rid of some of the confusion caused by the old one. First out of the gate was the Nokia 500, an attractive Symbian smartphone with a 1GHz processor. Nokia followed this up with some other smartphones running their new Symbian Belle operating system, the music oriented Nokia 600, the very slim Nokia 700 and the ultra-bright Nokia 701.
A big month for Samsung, with several new Android and Bada handsets, along with a new naming convention. The Samsung Galaxy Xcover is a ruggedised Android smartphone with not much in the way of competition. The Samsung Galaxy R is a very powerful Android device, that comes in a little bit cheaper than the Galaxy S II. The Samsung Galaxy S II LTE is a 4G version of the S II with a faster processor and bigger screen. Four more affordable Android devices are the Samsung Galaxy W, M Pro, Y Pro and Galaxy Y. At the top end of the scale, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE adds 4G support to this powerful but expensive tablet.
Samsung's own Bada OS also had an upgrade, with three new devices. The Samsung Wave 3 is a high-end smartphone, the Samsung Wave M fights it out in the tough midrange market and the Samsung Wave Y looks like it is targeting feature phone users.
RIM / BlackBerry
Featuring RIM's new BlackBerry 7 OS, a cluster of new BlackBerry devices were announced. The BlackBerry Torch 9860 targets Android touchscreen phones head-on. The BlackBerry Torch 9810 is a useful upgrade to last year's Torch 9800 sliding touchscreen phone. At the cheaper end of the market, the BlackBerry Curve 9360 is a significant update of RIM's entry-level range.
One of the biggest tech stories of the month was Google's planned takeover of Motorola Mobility for $12.5bn. As far as handsets go, the Motorola FIRE XT is an entry-level Android smartphone, the Motorola DEFY+ is a much improved version of Motorola's ruggedised touchscreen phone, and the Motorola PRO+ is a hybrid touchscreen/messaging device.
The Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman is a powerful music smartphone with a silly name, another offering this month was the slightly revised Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo V handset. An upgraded version of Sony Ericsson's flagship phone, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S is a very competitive device in the high-end market.
LG took a novel approach with the LG Optimus Sol, an Android phone designed to work well in direct sunlight. Other than that, LG have had a very quiet month.
As well as Google's planned takeover of Motorola some other major events were happening. HP announced that it was to pull out of the smartphone and tablet business, and consequently dumped all its stock in a massive fire sale. Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO of Apple after suffering from very poor health. Finally, we reflected on the turbulent times that the industry finds itself in including unprecedented lawsuits and companies that are struggling to survive.
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