October seems to be the month when all the action happens for smartphones, as the mobile players get ready for the next set of device and operating system hostilities.
Apple on Top
Apple and telco staff will be staffing the cash registers in stores around the world, as the company could sell an estimated four million iPhone 4S phones today. Because the new model is less expensive than previous updates, and is the only one that takes advantage of iOS 5's feature set including Siri and the improved camera, many users will be upgrading while Apple can expect to welcome millions of new users.
The iPhone 4S is available in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, France and Australia today, and will be on sale in 22 further countries by the end of the month. Assuming Apple does sell around four million units, that could at a sweep promote it ahead of Nokia to No. 1 in device maker sales and up to No. 2 above Symbian in terms of OS sales, but still way behind Android.
Sony Ericsson Goes All Smartphone
Today, Sony Ericsson announced its Q3 figures, which showed good sales growth in Asia and a 33% rise in sales overall. It estimates that its share of the global Android-based smartphone market during the quarter was approximately 12% in volume and 11% in value.
The company announced that it expects to move to an all-smartphone lineup, which currently accounts for around 80% of its sales. It will move away from feature and basic phones as the market evolves towards the smarter format. With Sony rumored to be buying Ericsson out of this partnership, there was no comment made during the financial call.
Samsung/Google Move the Date
Samsung and Google have picked a new date for their cancelled Android OS "Ice Cream Sandwich" and Nexus Prime unveiling event. It will now take place on October 19, and those who are up and about at 10AM Hong Kong time can watch the event live on YouTube.
The finishing off of the latest OS edition was celebrated with the arrival of a new figurine on the lawn of the Google campus.
Someone drops an Ice Cream Sandwich on Google's lawn
Microsoft Tosses Google Out
Finally, the latest update to the Skype Windows client sees new owner Microsoft (the deal has now finalized) kicking out Google's presence in the form of a Google search toolbar from the app. Expect any other rogue company feature instances to be removed from mobile and other apps shortly.
However, Skype will still be available across all OS and mobile formats as the product aims for the widest possible exposure.