The annual summer frenzy of smartphone rumours and leaked spec sheets is reaching a crescendo.
In recent weeks we’ve seen endless gossip about the iPhone 5S and budget iPhone 5C.
On top of that, there’s also been plenty of speculation around HTC’s One Max phablet, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 and the now-official Moto X.
The next few weeks should see rumours about all these devices reach fever pitch, culminating in their launch either at Berlin’s IFA trade show, which starts on September 6th, or, in Apple’s case, at a special event later in the month.
Summer, while a peak time for rumours, is rarely an important period for smartphone sales.
Savvy users know that having unveiled their initial wares in February at Mobile World Congress and in the weeks after, most mobile-makers wait until the months before Christmas to release their truly sensational products.
Hence, sales dip slightly as everyone bides their time to upgrade.
This year is no different and every major player has something riding on the forthcoming race for supremacy by the end of 2013.
Samsung will want to consolidate its position as the pre-eminent manufacturer, releasing the Galaxy Note 3 and Gear smartwatch to huge fanfare.
HTC will be desperate to stop the rot with the One Max, although surely even amazing design and new software can’t prevent it from sinking.
Perhaps most importantly, Apple will be looking to reassert its dominance and finally step down into the shallow end of the smartphone gene pool with its iPhone 5C.
No other device carries more importance this year. Cupertino needs it to succeed and the market needs it in order to stop saturation (and hence stagnation) becoming a major issue. Whatever happens, aggression from all sides will be key.
The phoney war of pre-release leaks and specs is nothing compared to the days and weeks after launch.
Samsung will look to aggressively market its new devices, while Apple will do much the same, while doubtless claiming it’s created some new tech which in actual fact is just a small step up on something that already exists (think: FaceTime as a good example).
As the winter hoves into view, we won’t truly know who’s come out on top until the start of 2014, when we hear sales stats and earnings figures.
Everyone will be going at it in an attempt to assert their dominance.
The iPhone 5C will likely sell well but, might not boost Apple’s bottom line as much as it hopes.
Samsung will surely continue to dominate. And HTC may well find that despite all its ace hardware, it’s just not in the game any more.
Either way, this September promises to see the start of another truly epic fight for your smartphone loyalty.