Apple has launched its new iPhone 3GS with demand expected to be strong for the handset in the US and seven other initial launch countries.
However, with a smartphone market also offering new handsets from Palm, RIM and Nokia, to name but a few, the landscape has changed considerably since the original iPhone hit the market two years ago.
RIM is boosting its Blackberry range with a new 3G dual-mode handset aimed at both its core executive users and the wider consumer market.
Candy-bar shaped and with a full keyboard, the Blackberry Tour will launch with Verizon and Sprint in the US and Telus and BCE’s Bell unit in Canada.
Palm has appointed Jon Rubinstein, the man credited with delivering Apple’s iPod and iMac, as its new CEO and chairman.
He replaces Ed Colligan, who is stepping down after sixteen years leading the company. The executive changes come just a few days after Palm launched its Pre smartphone.
Not owning a smartphone today is the social equivalent to not having email a few years ago – at least in the US.
That’s the conclusion of a report in the New York Times, which says that having an iPhone, Pre or BlackBerry is pretty much mandatory these days unless you want to ostracise yourself from "society".
Palm must be hoping it can quickly build on estimated opening weekend sales of 60,000 Pre smartphones – not least because Apple has cranked up the pressure with the launch of a new iPhone 3Gs.
While Palm’s Saturday launch has largely been judged a success, it was hampered by supply constraints which saw most Sprint Nextel stores get less than 50 phones to sell.
Palm’s Pre smartphone has received a pre-launch boost with a succession of (mostly) favorable reviews.
And, in what must be the ultimate accolade in the highly competitive smartphone market, the device has even been described as a tough competitor to Apple’s iPhone.
Worldwide smartphone shipments grew 5.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the same period last year, according to the latest quarterly market overview by Canalys.
However, Pete Cunningham, senior analyst with Canalys, told smartphone.biz-news the North American consumer market saw shipments rise in Q1 2009 by 22.5 per cent year-on-year.
So the launch of the Palm Pre is June 6th – and the scene is all set for what is likely to be an exciting summer for the smartphone industry.
Those joining Palm in announcing new – or updated handsets – over the next few months are Apple with an upgraded iPhone and new phones using the Android operating system from Google.
With a launch date for Palm’s much anticipated Pre still to be announced along comes news that Palm is preparing a second Pre-like handset for release this year.
The smaller and slimmer device will be pitched at a different part of the smartphone market, according to Techcrunch.
Google’s Android Market is expected to begin accepting paid applications this week for the first time.
The move could provide a much-needed boost to the platform, which currently has around 800 applications.