Apple is trying to make it easier to upgrade to the new iPhone with trade-in deals likely though Apple Stores while Samsung's new smartwatch is ticking down for a major launch event.
Trade In and Trade Up
The market for second-hand iOS devices is a booming one, across phone stores, eBay, family hand-me-downs and so on. Every iOS device has some value, and each one still running can suck up more apps, billing time and data charges, benefiting the overall mobile ecosystem. But, Apple is missing out on much of that activity, despite the fact that it has for years sold refurbished Mac devices.
It seems like the upcoming iPhone 5S launch will also mark Apple's entry into the area of second-market devices, with Apple Stores across the U.S. reportedly having staff training to deal with trade-ins as users bring in their old phones to reduce the cost of a new model, perhaps the shiny new champagne gold iPhone 5S model.
The key question here is how much will users get? It'll be interesting to see Apple's price list for its older gadgets, with the later models likely to help make a decent saving on the new gear. And also, what will happen to the old gadgets? We can't see Apple having bargain bins of old iPhones in its stores, so those looking for a bargain might need to look online, or will the company ship them wholesale to emerging markets to augment the iPhone 5C market?
Samsung Taking Notes
Ahead of Apple's September roll out, Samsung will be nipping in early with a new event on the fourth, apparently revealing and shipping the new Note III, and showing off the much-anticipated Gear smartwatch. While the Galaxy Gear is pretty much an enigma, the Note III will offer a region-dependent Snapdragon 800 or Exynos octa-core CPU, a 5.68 inch 1080p full HD AMOLED display, a quirky 3GB of RAM plus a 13-megapixel camera.
Samsung will be looking to increase its market dominance with these new devices and steal a march on Apple in the smartwatch category. With much of Apple's roster well-leaked, will the American company manage to surprise all with a showing of its own smartwatch, or will it continue to work at its own pace?
With Nokia going the odd route of a large Windows RT tablet, it looks like Apple and Samsung won't feel too threatened in the tablet market, but will Samsung's 'tween devices continue to steal share from those not offering a wide range of screen sizes, something the new iPad mini isn't likely to address, sticking to the original's formula.
That does leave plenty of room for other device makers to storm into, and with Lenovo and other Chinese brands looking to push into western markets, the phablet arena seems to be the market to attack. Expect a huge amount of interest and innovation in these devices next year.