Talking tech since 2003

By now you’ve probably read about HTC’s One M8 Android handset, which was finally and officially unveiled at a press event in New York City today. Armed with a dual camera, deep social and multimedia integration, and style for days, some believe that it’ll simply be the best smartphone on the market in 2014. And based on what we saw this morning, it might actually be the case—at least until we see what Apple’s planning with the iPhone 6.

Oh, and hey! Nokia’s going to make a new smartphone announcement on April 2 for some reason.

Snark aside, a post on Neowin reports that Nokia is inviting members of the press to an event on April 2, 5 p.m. Pacific, in San Francisco, asking invitees to “Join us for more.” This, it seems, will unveil the company’s latest and greatest smartphone or phones. As the post points out, that event happens to coincide with the first day of Microsoft’s 2014 BUILD conferences, so it seems likely that whatever Nokia’s going to show off, it’ll have Windows Phone 8.1 under the hood.

A post on WPCentral has some ideas about what Nokia might have planned for the event, reporting that the company will lift the veil on devices codenamed “Moneypenny,” “Goldfinger” and “Martini.” A ZDNet post also reminds us that Windows Phone 8.1 will likely have a new Siri-imitator called Cortana, which we’ve seen in action before and could be interesting for Windows Phone fans, if not particularly new in terms of innovation.

Other than that, it’s anybody’s guess as to what kind of devices it’ll have on offer. But one thing is clear: no one is really very interested.

The proof can be seen over the last few months. For the longest time, HTC’s One M8 was the company’s worst-kept secret, with leak after leak after leak hitting the web to reveal its specs, its Duo Camera, its Dotview case—just about the only thing that was a secret was the name, and only in terms of which one the company would officially choose.

Nokia, too, was the victim of tons of leaks over the last few months—but those leaks had nothing to do with whatever the company is likely to unveil on April 2. No, those leaks had much more to do with the handset codenamed Normandy, and officially dubbed the Nokia X. So what made the Nokia X so special that it deserved leaks and press attention? It’s simple: it’s an Android phone.

Moreover, it’s not even an impressive Android phone. It’s a budget-priced, budget-spec’d Android handset that runs a forked, Windows-styled version of Android, and isn’t even available in the United States. It’s a thoroughly unimpressive piece of hardware, and half the reason thaware, and half the reason that anyone cared at all was that it was Nokia’s take on the Android OS. Since it’s almost a sure bet that Nokia will have a new Windows Phone device on stage on April 2, one has to wonder whether or not it’ll be able to make any kind of splash.

Android is the most popular mobile OS on the market right now, by virtue of its ubiquity and its endorsement from great device makers that offer users lots of great options. Apple comes in second, and reaps the benefits of being a dedicated handset and OS maker all in one. Anyone who wants the iOS experience can only go to one place, and despite being number two, it’s still far more people than any one other OEM can claim.

And then there’s Windows Phone and Nokia, its biggest proponent (and soon to be Microsoft subsidiary). Its Lumia 1020 smartphone boasted a ridiculously powerful 41-megapixel camera, but at this point, I would bet that more people are interested in HTC’s Duo Camera and its Lytro-like bokeh effect capabilities. Unless Nokia can pull a serious rabbit out of its hat on April 2, I would be surprised if the company can make much of a splash that day. What would get it the attention it wants? Probably something to do with Android.

Am I crazy? Is there actually a place in the smartphone landscape for a new Nokia gadget? Or are all eyes permanently fixed on Android?

[Source: NeowinWPCentralZDNet]

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