Will Nokia, Microsoft Upstage Apple This Week?
Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) are scheduled to debut at least one new Windows Phone 8 device tomorrow. Will this announcement overshadow the highly anticipated unveiling of Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone 5, or is it merely a stopgap designed to slow Nokia's inevitable demise?
Thus far, Nokia has only teased about the device it may show off. Last week the company released an unusual video with a woman on a bicycle, who was accompanied by the message, "Things are about to change on 5 September 2012."
Since that time, Nokia has officially announced a brand-new, commercial-free music service that is available at no charge to all Lumia handset users.
It is still unclear how the Lumia 820 or 920 will bring "change" to the smartphone industry. Many have speculated that the popular PureView camera will come to these devices. But while that technology is very impressive, it is also old news. Nokia will need to make a bigger announcement if it intends to excite the masses tomorrow.
There is, however, the chance that Nokia's announcement will pale in comparison to whatever Microsoft has planned for the event. For better or worse, smartphones are all about the software. Consumers only care about the hardware (size, shape, weight, durability, etc.) after they have tested and accepted the operating system. Thus far, those who have tried Windows Phone 7 have been impressed. Still, Microsoft has had a difficult time getting consumers to switch over from iOS. Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android platform remains the number-one alternative to Apple's offering, but that did not stop Samsung from rushing to support Windows Phone 8.
Nokia could take the stage on its own tomorrow, introduce a new phone or two, and walk away. The company does not need Microsoft's help in this regard. This should make investors wonder: what is the real reason Microsoft is attending?
Given Microsoft's attitude toward manufacturing, it seems unlikely that Microsoft is planning to announce a joint product of some kind. It is more probable that the Windows maker is planning to unveil new features for its mobile operating system. Thus, Microsoft's presence is needed at the event.
There is also the possibility that Nokia technology -- such as its new music service or the PureView camera -- is coming to Surface. If Microsoft talks about Surface tomorrow, it is also likely to talk more about the tablet's price, which would be huge.
That, of course, is only speculation. The event is more likely to focus on the future of the Windows Phone platform and how it could save Nokia from certain doom.
Follow me @LouisBedigianBZ
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.