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The year 2011 saw smartphones going mainstream. The segment got a huge boost in terms of features. While Apple and Samsung largely dominated the market, mobile players like HTC, Motorola and LG too witnessed some success on devices powered by Google’s Android platform.
The year also saw Nokia and Research in Motion (RIM) scrambling to overhaul their smartphone lineup in a bid to revive their dwindling share in the mobile market.
Thus while 2011 was hot on the smartphone front, 2012 too seems promising. Here are some of the big launches scheduled for the year as per the rumour mill.
The new iPhone will reportedly have a rubber or plastic bezel, which will connect the glass front to an aluminum back. The bezel material will be similar to that of Apple iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S cases.
The new bezel will cover the redesigned antenna system that would pave the way for the device to have an aluminum back without the black plastic strip found on the back of 3G iPad. Speculations suggest that next iPhone will come with a 4-inch screen.
Cellphone gaint Nokia is expected to make another attempt to boost its share in the smartphone market with Nokia Lumnia 900, the successor to its recently-launched Windows Phone-based Lumia 800.
A leaked image that appeared on My Nokia Blog suggests that the Finnish giant is expected to unveil another top-end Windows Phone called Nokia Lumia 900 at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to be held in Las Vegas in January second week. The company is also expected to announce several other smartphones along with the Lumia 900 at the event.
According to Web reports, Lumia 900 which resembles Lumia 800 in looks, will come with a 4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display and will include the new Windows Phone Tango update. The smartphone is also likely to feature a front-facing camera and is expected to come in a variety of colour options.
Lumia 900 is also said to sport a 1.4GHz processor, an 8 megapixel rear camera with single LED flash. It is also rumoured to pack support for 4G LTE networks.
Leaked images of the HTC Edge, the first smartphone running on NVidia’s yet-to-be announced Tegra 3 processor surfaced in November last year.
According to several reports, HTC Edge will come with a 1.5GHz quad-core processor. The phone is likely to sport a 4.7-inch 720p display and will pack 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, 8 megapixel shooter with 1080p video capture, 2 megapixel front camera, HDMI out and NFC support. The phone is expected to debut at the forthcoming Mobile World Congress in February.
HTC is rumoured to launch its slimmest Android smartphone dubbed HTC Ville as early as 2012. According to several reports, HTC Ville will be less than 8mm thick and will sport a metallic body. The smartphone will reportedly come with a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display with qHD 960 x 540 pixel resolution.
The phone will include HTC Sense 4.0 user interface with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS. Ville is likely to come equipped with a dual-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon S4 mobile processor. The phone will also pack an 8 megapixel shooter capable of 1080p full HD video recording.
HTC Ville too is expected to be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.
While the year 2011 saw LG betting on Google’s Android OS for its smartphones, several reports reveal that the Korean company is readying to launch a Windows Phone OS-based phone dubbed LG Fantasy.
Running on the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS, the phone is likely to sport a 4-inch IPS capacitive touchscreen and is expected to come equipped with a 1GHz single core processor. The smartphone will reportedly pack 8GB of internal memory and is expected to sport a 5 megapixel camera and a 1.3-megapixel secondary camera.
LG Fantasy is expected to come out in Q1 2012.
It is being widely speculated that Samsung Galaxy Skin will be so flexible that users would even be able to roll it up. The technology relies on atom-thick layers of ‘graphene’ sandwiched together, protecting a layer of liquid crystal ‘screen’.
The phone will surprisingly is speculated to be powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread instead of the new Ice Cream Sandwich.
Research In Motion in December last year announced that it has delayed the release of its BlackBerry smartphones equipped with the new QNX operating system until late 2012, long after its initial promise of a first-quarter rollout.
Research In Motion re-branded its next generation mobile platform as BlackBerry 10, after its use of the BBX brand ran into a trademark dispute in the US.
BlackBerry 10 is company’s next-gen operating system that merges the QNX-based OS found on the PlayBook with the BlackBerry OS that powers all of the current BlackBerries.
Meanwhile, internet is abuzz with reports of BlackBerry’s first QNX-based smartphone codenamed Colt. The phone is likely to come with a 4-inch touchscreen display, single-core 1.2GHz processor, stainless steel bezel unibody, no physical buttons, and a similar battery found in the PlayBook. There will be front and back facing cameras, with flash and auto-focus. Colt will reportedly be thinner than the Bold 9900.
BlackBerry Colt is expected to be out in the middle of 2012.
LG is all set to debut an Intel-powered smartphone at the forthcoming CES show in the US. According to a report in Korea Times, the company will launch Intel’s first Android smartphone.
The smartphone is reported to run on Intel’s next-generation Medfield system-on-a-chip.
The Intel-LG smartphone would be the two companies second attempt to carve out a partnership based around Google’s Android platform. The duo also announced an Android device at CES last year which was later shelved.