Apple steals Nokia's thunder with iPhone 5 launch event
Apple expected to win back a huge chunk of smartphone market with new device
APPLE fans are on tenterhooks amid rumours that the hotly anticipated iPhone 5 will be unveiled on 12 September – just as two of its rivals announce their own latest offerings.
The company has issued an invitation for journalists to attend a "special event" in San Francisco just a week after Nokia and Microsoft unveiled details of two new smartphones which will run on Microsoft's Windows operating system.
The Apple announcement has come as a blow to Nokia, which recently announced job cuts and was forced to relinquish its position as the world's biggest phone maker to Samsung.
The Finnish company unveiled its Lumia 920 and 820 models in New York this evening, but its share price fell 14 per cent after the event. The two devices have been overshadowed by the arrival of the iPhone 5, and to make matters worse they will hit the market at about the same time as their rival.
Even at the Nokia event much of the talk was about what will happen next week on the other side of America.
Apple's invite consists of the number 12 casting a shadow of the number five, apparently confirming rumours the new model will be officially named the "iPhone 5".
The launch represents a much more radical upgrade of the smartphone than the iPhone 4S did. Reports are circulating of a larger, thinner, 4G-capable model. It will be the first big product launch by the manufacturer since the death of Apple founder Steve Jobs.
Analysts believe the iPhone 5 will generate huge profit for the world's most valuable company. Shares in Apple have continued to increase (up 1.5 per cent on Tuesday) as hype around the launch reaches fever pitch.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster estimated that Apple is likely to sell between 6 million and 10 million of the new generation iPhones in September alone and The Guardian reports the company could sell up to 160 million phones worldwide in its first two quarters after its launch – compared with about 80 million for the iPhone 4S.
It looks as if Apple will win back a huge chunk of the smartphone market with the iPhone 5: a survey carried out by TechBargains.com, found that one in five Android users plan to switch their current handset for Apple's new phone and 38 per cent of Blackberry users say they'll be making the jump to the iPhone 5.
Apple can also count on plenty of current iPhone users to upgrade to the new model as 74 percent of iPhone 4 users and 64 percent of iPhone 4S users plan to switch to the iPhone 5.