Nokia unveiling its new 4G-enabled Lumia 900 device and Sony announcing its first venture into the smartphone market were two of the headline-grabbing announcements at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
The electronics showcase took place from 10-13 January in Las Vegas. Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer jointly took to the stage to introduce the Lumia 900. Both companies are expected to co-fund a major marketing push for the Windows Phone device in the United States.
Elop said: ‘We believe that the industry has shifted from a battle of devices, to a war of ecosystems. With Lumia, our intent is to establish a series of beachheads…it started in Europe, now in the US, and more in the coming year.’ He later told reporters that the phones would be targeted at businesses as well as consumers.
Ballmer said: ‘The past year has really been the whole push to build what clearly can be the strong third ecosystem in the smartphone market.’
Sony is expecting to launch its Xperia S smartphone in the UK by the end of March. It is the company’s first device since Sony bought Ericsson last year. The Android device has a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 4.3-inch screen, 32GB of flash storage, 12-megapixel camera and NFC capability.
Ovum analyst Nick Dillon said: ‘The launch of its own-branded smartphones marks the start of a new era for Sony, as it positions itself to battle with other multi-screen players in the increasingly competitive and interlinked consumer electronics markets.’
Other announcements included Huawei’s unveiling of the Ascend P1 S smartphone, dubbed the world’s slimmest. The device, which measures just 6.68mm wide, will hit the UK during the third quarter of this year. RIM showcased the latest 2.0 operating system for its struggling BlackBerry Playbook tablet. The new OS will be available to download next month.