While waiting to be buried under the glut of anticipated iPhone 2.0 news today, only Samsung among Apple's handset competitors decided to go mano a mano by also introducing new consumer phones. As for RIM, Nokia, Motorola and T-Mobile, it was an entirely different story.
Consider the announcement by Samsung, the world's No. 2 handset maker behind Nokia, as the anti-Apple news but with an iPhone spin. The new Omnia is based on the most recent Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional operating system to "add a mobile extension to [the] PC experience." Users will be able to access standard Office applications and send and receive e-mail in Outlook.
But beyond this snooze news, Samsung has followed Apple's lead with a touch-screen interface allowing tap, sweep, drag and drop operations as well as an on-screen QWERTY keyboard. The Omnia also features 3G capability, a 5-megapixel camera and a music player that can hold up to 4,000 songs or 100 minutes of video.
As the No.3 handset maker, Motorola, which would like to dump its cell phone division, chose to compete with Apple's big day by focusing on what the iPhone doesn't: the enterprise. Motorola introduced the MC75 Worldwide Enterprise Digital Assistant, which features support for 3G networks based on the HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) and CDMA-EvDO (Code Division Multiple Access/Evolution Data Optimized) Rev A standards. Motorola's new device supports voice, data, GPS navigation and camera-based document capture, along with a bar code scanner.
No doubt knowing their introductions will be little remembered when the media gets its hands on an iPhone 2.0, both Samsung and Motorola will reintroduce these models when they are actually ready for prime time, probably in the third quarter.
No. 1 Nokia didn't release any news June 9 but still took an Apple punch when American Technology Research analyst Mark McKechnie downgraded Nokia from a "buy" to a "neutral." McKechnie fretted about Nokia's smart-phone status and cut the estimate of the company's 2008 profits. In late afternoon trading, Nokia stock was up 28 cents.
T-Mobile, meanwhile, was just complaining: It filed a lawsuit against Starbucks, arguing that the coffee shop retailer's deal with AT&T to provide free Wi-Fi violates T-Mobile's contract with Starbucks to provide paid Wi-Fi.
Research In Motion? The enterprise-class mobile phone maker is sitting out Apple's announcement by merely ignoring it. Why not? With the introduction of the BlackBerry Bold May 12, RIM loaded its flagship platform with a number of features like GPS, Wi-Fi and video capture, positioning the device closer to the retail consumer market while strengthening its traditional enterprise features.
Apple, on the other hand, has yet to show a broad enterprise appeal, despite the efforts of hard-core iPhone junkies to claim otherwise.