Sep 5, 2012 / 9:00 pm
Nokia and Motorola have unveiled five new smartphones between them, while Amazon is expected to announce a new Kindle Fire this week before attention turns to a new iPhone from Apple next Wednesday.
Makers of consumer electronics are refreshing their products for the holiday shopping season. Apple's rivals are hoping that a head start on the buzz will translate into stronger sales.
Nokia and Microsoft, in particular, are trying to generate interest in a new Windows operating system out next month. The two phones announced Wednesday by Nokia are its first to run Windows Phones 8.
Motorola Mobility, meanwhile, is extending its Razr brand. That's the name of a popular clamshell phone from 2004, the last time Motorola had a hit. Apart from the name, the three new smartphones bear no resemblance to the original phone.
They are the first major devices that Motorola is launching under new owner Google Inc., which also makes the Android operating system that rivals Apple's phone software.
Sales of Apple's iPhones are still strong, though the company lost the lead in smartphones to Samsung this year. Samsung Electronics Co. benefited from having its Galaxy S III out in the U.S. in June, while Apple was still selling an iPhone model released last October. A new iPhone is expected as early as this month, allowing Apple to recapture the attention and the revenue.
Apple dominates the market for tablet computers. Seven out of every 10 tablets shipped in the second quarter were iPads, according to research firm IHS iSuppli. Rivals have been trying to compete with smaller, cheaper models, such as Amazon's Kindle Fire. Now there's speculation that Apple will be coming out with a smaller iPad as well.
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