New camera war brewing in the smartphone market

HTC and Nokia are both expected to announce products in February

By , IDG News Service |  

The challenge for Nokia will be to develop a phone that isn't too heavy and/or bulky, which the 808 PureView and Lumia 920 are, reviewers of the devices have said. The latter offers optical image stabilization, but too much bulk could offset all the advantages users would get in terms of image quality, according to Malik Saadi, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.

Nokia is organizing its next big launch event on Feb. 25 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Nokia and HTC both had a difficult 2012, as they did their best to compete with Apple's iPhones and Samsung's Galaxy family, especially the S III and the Note I and II.

On Monday, HTC reported its results for the fourth quarter. The company's revenue shrunk compared to the third quarter, which isn't a good sign since the holiday shopping season should have given it a boost. Also, HTC's operating profit dropped by 95 percent year on year.

"The company started 2012 strongly with the One X, and it had a window of opportunity with that device until Samsung arrived with the Galaxy S III. But the marketing approach HTC chose didn't cut trough, and it was outgunned," CCS' Wood said, adding that Samsung's 2013 portfolio will be critical to the future of the company.

Nokia managed to make a profit during the second quarter and the sale of its Windows Phone-based Lumia smartphones is slowly picking up, but the company is by no means out of the woods. The rest of the year will be just as critical for Nokia as it is for HTC, and the Finnish company has only two options for 2013: either significantly increase sales or change its strategy radically, according to IDC's Francisco Jeronimo.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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