NEW YORK — Attention is turning to Apple this week amid expectations that it’s announcing a new iPhone on Wednesday.
Amazon, Nokia and Motorola all tried to generate interest in their products last week, hoping that a headstart on the buzz will translate into stronger sales.
Amazon announced four new Kindle Fire models and a new line of stand-alone e-readers, while Nokia and Motorola unveiled five new smartphones between them. Makers of consumer electronics are refreshing their products for the holiday shopping season.
Nokia and Microsoft, in particular, are trying to generate interest in a new Windows operating system out next month. The two phones announced by Nokia are among the first to run Windows Phone 8.
Sales of Apple’s iPhones are still strong, though the company lost the lead in smartphones to Samsung this year. Samsung Electronics Co. benefited from having its Galaxy S III out in the U.S. in June, while Apple was still selling an iPhone model released last October. A new iPhone is expected as early as this month, allowing Apple to recapture the revenue.
T-Mobile USA, the only “Big 4” phone company that doesn’t sell the iPhone, now wants to snag used ones from AT&T.
Starting Wednesday, when Apple is expected to reveal a new iPhone model, T-Mobile will start advertising that AT&T iPhone owners who are out of contract can switch to T-Mobile.
“We expect that consumers will start trading in older devices,” said Harry Thomas, T-Mobile’s director of marketing. “For every person waiting in line for the next model, a lot of them have to find a secondary market for that older device.”
CNNMoney, on its website, reported that the iPhone generated more sales than the entirety of Microsoft’s product lineup over the past four quarters.
Apple also dominates the market for tablet computers. Seven out of every 10 tablets shipped in the second quarter were iPads, according to research firm IHS iSuppli.
Rivals have been trying to compete with smaller, cheaper models — such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire. New models from Amazon include ones with screens nearly as large as the iPad’s, while there’s speculation that Apple will be coming out with a smaller iPad.
Barnes and Noble Inc., which makes the 7-inch Nook Tablet, may have an update this fall as well.
Toys R Us, meanwhile, said Monday that it is making a 7-inch tablet aimed at children. The Tabeo will go on sale Oct. 21 for $149.99.
Microsoft Corp. will release a new version of the Windows operating system on Oct. 26, one that’s designed to work on both traditional computers and tablet devices. A new version of the Windows Phone system is coming out, too.
Microsoft plans its tablet computer, called Surface, which will come in two versions, both with 10.6-inch screens, slightly larger than the iPad’s. One model will run on phone-style chips, just like the iPad, and will be sold for a similar price. A heavier, more expensive version will run on Intel chips and be capable of running standard Windows applications. The Surface will go on sale Oct. 26.