High-tech product announcements this fall
It's high season for consumer electronics. Manufacturers of various gadgets are unveiling their holiday lineups, including Apple with its new iPhone on Wednesday. Add to that products surrounding a new version of Windows coming out next month.
Here's a recap of the announcements so far:
-- Sept. 4: Microsoft Corp. releases the first major update to its server operating system since 2009, a prelude to releasing Windows 8 to consumers in October. Microsoft says Windows Server 2012 adds features that make it easier to manage large clusters of servers in data centers remotely.
-- Sept. 5: Nokia Corp. unveils its first phones running the next version of Windows. The company didn't reveal prices and says only that the Windows Phone 8 devices will be available in the fourth quarter "in select markets." The two devices are under Nokia's Lumia brand.
Motorola Mobility, under new owner Google Inc., announces three smartphones borrowing the Razr brand, the name of the hit clamshell phone from 2004. The $99 Razr M is to be in Verizon Wireless stores on Sept. 13. Two higher-end models will come later.
-- Sept. 6: Amazon.com Inc. announces four new Kindle Fire tablet computers as it steps up competition with Apple Inc. and its iPad. Two of the models have screens nearly as large as the iPad's, at lower prices. Those will start shipping in November, while the smaller, 7-inch models will start selling Sept. 14. Amazon also refreshes its line of stand-alone e-readers.
-- Monday: Toys R Us says it plans to launch its own Android tablet computer aimed at children. Called Tabeo, it will start selling on Oct. 21 for $150. The 7-inch touch-screen tablet will come with 50 apps selected for children, including such games as "Angry Birds" and "Fruit Ninja" and a book app called istorybooks. Toys R Us sells other electronics including the iPad, but this is its first store-brand tablet.
-- Tuesday: Google releases a new YouTube app for the iPhone and the iPad as Apple prepares to release a new iPhone model and a software update that displaces the video service as a built-in program. The changes are being made because Google Inc. and Apple Inc. didn't renew a five-year licensing agreement.
-- Wednesday: Apple unveils the iPhone 5, with a taller screen and the ability to connect to faster data networks known as 4G. It will go on sale in the U.S. on Sept. 21, with advance orders starting this Friday. Apple also refreshed the iPod Nano and the iPod Touch. Plus, it introduced a new type of headphone called EarPods, which are meant to fit comfortably in more people's ears.