Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tech Recap: Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL), Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

There were a couple of announcements on Tuesday for which the market was waiting for quite some time.

Microsoft Corporation(NASDAQ:MSFT) put out a press release which had the pricing details of Surface, its debut in the tablet PC segment.

In the release Microsoft said, "Originally unveiled in June, Surface with Windows RT will initially be available in three SKUs: a 32GB version priced at US$499, a 32GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at US$599, and a 64GB version bundled with a black Touch Cover priced at US$699."

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The company said that a variety of accessories would also be available, including touch covers in five vibrant colors — black, white, magenta, cyan and red — priced at US$119.99 so customers can express their personal style. Customers will also have the option to purchase a type cover in black for US$129.99, which adds moving keys for a more traditional typing feel.

Pre-orders for the Surface tablet will start on October 26 at all Microsoft Store locations in the U.S. and Canada.  In addition, Surface will be available for sale online in eight markets across the world: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The other announcement came from Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) which sent out invitations for an event on October 23, at the California Theatre in San Jose.

The invite read, "We've got a little more to show you."

The iPhone maker is expected to unveil a smaller and cheaper version of its iPad, which the media has dubbed as the `iPad Mini' for a long time now.

There is speculation that along with the iPad, it will also unveil a 13 inch retina MacBook, a new iTunes model and a Mac mini.

That's a lot of stuff.

The plight of Nokia Corporation (ADR)(NYSE:NOK) does not look promising at all because predictions have revealed that sales will plummet and the company will lose more market share even though investors are eagerly waiting for the unveiling of Microsoft's Windows Phone software 8. This launch is supposed to be the “saving grace” for Nokia’s smartphones.

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Nokia, which was a cutting-edge brand and a leader in the cellphone market for more than a decade, could not withstand competition from Apple and Samsung in high-end devices sector. Now it is also losing customers to Asian makers when it comes to lower-end devices. Samsung surpassed Nokia and became the world's No. 1 cellphone maker in the first quarter selling 86.6 million units, in comparison to Nokia’s 83 million.

The company dropped from a market share of 40% in 2008 to 29% in the last year. Reports state that the figures will be extremely dismal at the end of this year as well. 2nd quarter losses totaled almost $1.7 billion and overall sales came to 7.5 million at a 19% decline. Investors are hoping that Microsoft’s liaison with Nokia might strengthen the latter’s position in the US.

Shares of NOK are up 2.50% after surging 9% in the past two trading sessions.

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