Although there is no formal mobile congress this week, 13-17 September will be one of the year's biggest weeks in phone news, with major new announcements expected from HTC, Nokia and LG. With 24 hours before the festivities kick off, we take a gaze into our crystal ball to see what's in store.
Is Nokia planning something in 3D?
There's nothing as compelling as a comeback story, and boy is Nokia due for one. The world's current smartphone leader is hosting its annual Nokia World summit in London this week and is preparing to again prove it is one of the most innovative smartphone designers in the world.
Nokia N8: we've seen it before, but Nokia World will be the Finns last great chance to put a spotlight on the Symbian^3-powered smartphone before it hits stores in the first week of October. Check out ourfor a closer look.
The E7 or N9 aka the mystery slider: we don't know what it's called officially, and we don't know whether it will run on Symbian or Nokia's new MeeGo platform, but we do expect ato accompany the touchscreen-only N8 during Nokia World.
A MeeGo tablet: this is us connecting the dots. Nokia will unleash MeeGo onto the world sometime before Christmas and after the success of Apple's iPad it seems logical Nokia would take its new OS to market in this form factor. Considering its partnership with Intel in creating MeeGo, expect a more computer-like device than the iPad, or at least something with USB ports.
Something in 3D?: this one is seriously out there, but there has been teaser material sent to journalists from Nokia accompanied by pairs of old blue-and-red 3D glasses. Does this mean a phone with 3D support? It seems like a strange risk for Nokia to take in its current position.
This fast-growing smartphone maker has played its cards very wisely in 2010. After the perfectly timed launch of the Desire and Legend handsets, which gave HTC a clear window with very little noise from its competition at the start of the year, the Taiwanese original equipment manufacturer is ready for its encore.
A fan-made render of what a Chrome tablet might look like.
(Credit: PMP Today)
A duo of Androids: we absolutely expect to see two new smartphones running Google's Android 2.2. The hot tip is that one will feature a 4.3-inch screen, and the other with have a slide-out QWERTY keyboard — the first for an HTC Android since the original HTC Dream.
Sense UI 3.0: this information is far from confirmed, but we're expecting to see a revamped user interface for the new Android handsets. At the very least you can expect a few funky new bits of software, new widgets or new usability tweaks, but something tells us HTC will take it one big step further.
Windows Phone 7 (WP7): there has been speculation that HTC will use its event in London to showcase its first Windows Phone 7 handset. The rumour mill is predicting a Goliath of a phone, with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and a 4.5-inch screen with an XGA resolution. This all seems like wishful thinking to us, even if HTC has a phone with this spec in the pipeline, we'd be surprised if the company stole Microsoft's thunder and made the world's first public announcement.
Chrome tablet: another long shot, but perhaps more realistic than a WP7 phone, especially if Google is in attendance to join in the announcement. Bloggers are tipping HTC as the likely manufacturer of an iPad-like tablet running Google's Chrome operating system, rather than Android.
Last, but certainly not least, Korean electronics giant LG will launch a couple of Androids of its own.
Beauty and the beast: the LG Optimus One and Optimus Chic were unveiled recently at the IFA conference in Berlin, but LG will make it all official this week — hopefully with local information about pricing and availability. Both phones run on Android and appear to be geared at the middle of the market, rather than the top-dollar offerings from HTC and Samsung.
LG's latest pair under glass at IFA