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Who Won In September?

Its been a big month of smartphone product launches, with Windows Phone 8 devices making up the bulk of new announcements. Samsung were first out of the blocks (Galaxy Note 2 and Ativ S) closely followed by Nokia (Lumia 820 and 920), Motorola (Droid Razr M, HD, Maxx HD and I), Apple (iPhone 5) and finally HTC (8S and 8X).

Microsoft will have been pleased to grab so many column inches with a plethora of new WP8 devices - although the absence of key data - launch dates, networks and price crucially - will mean that by the time the phones get here (probably November) there'll be little market left to win over.

Samsung already have the Galaxy S3 stealing sales left, right and centre. As a result the hugely unexpected success of the Galaxy Note hasn't gained many column inches, yet 10+ million sales since launch is an incredible figure. The Note 2 adds some of the headline features of the S3 and should sell even more.

Motorola's new phones looked remarkable tame compared to everything else - the Maxx HD, with its promise of phenomenal run time will probably deliver the most success. Otherwise Google's hardware team are likely to continue to struggle outside the US.

Apple caught significant flak for the iPhone 5, yet its had the largest number of pre-orders of any iPhone yet. Its an evolutionary upgrade and a clear sign that Apple doesn't intend to compete with Google at the phone level. This iPhone (and its future revisions) just needs to be good enough to keep the fathful upgrading, whilst coaxing a few waiverers into the ecosystem. What's clear is that for the first time since 2007 Apple has a phone that doesn't deliver best in class anywhere.

Nokia pushed out two impressive new phones, but much is going to ride on how good the new Pureview branded camera is in the Lumia 920. If its as good as promised Nokia and Microsoft will have a good Christmas - photos are probably the most important smartphone function for the average user.

If the 920's camera doesn't deliver HTC's 8X looks likely to steal its place as WP8 range topper.

So who won in September? The smartphone buyer, that's who. I can't remember so many fantastic phones being released so close together from so many different manufacturers before.


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