NEW YORK (
) -- Summer should be a scorcher for
(GOOG - Get Report)
Android phones as
(AAPL - Get Report)
Research In Motion
delay new models until fall.
flagship Galaxy S II and even some retreads like the Droid X2 from
are filling the shelves at
, shoving aside year-old Apple iPhones and an aging crop of BlackBerries from RIM.
The abundance of
comes at a time when giants like Apple,
and RIM have particularly slim pickings in terms of new devices. The timing could be particularly beneficial to the Google camp as Android stands to clean up in market share gains.
Already the leading smartphone software, Android is expected to capture a half of the worldwide market by the end of next year, according to a Gartner forecast. That same projection has Apple's market share falling to 19% by the end of 2012.
Fearing a slip in gadget leadership, Apple investors knocked the stock down 3% this week on disappointment over the lack of a new iPhone at the ongoing developers' conference. Instead of a sleek new iPhone, Apple chief Steve Jobs
unveiled the iCloud
-- a network storage and syncing service.
In three years, the Android camp has overtaken Apple as the leader in the new generation of application-rich touchscreen smartphones.
To make matters worse for Apple, the next iPhone, due in September, is expected to have only minor upgrades like a dual-core processor. And as first reported by
, the 2011 iPhone will be overshadowed by the upcoming
4G LTE super-iPhone
being developed for 2012.
Meanwhile, RIM shares have been on a steady decline, down 35% so far this year as the BlackBerry powerhouse continues to founder. The wait for a new smartphone from RIM looks to be getting longer on reports that the upcoming touchscreen Bold, which was due this summer, is being pushed out to fall.
And even though
has several Windows 7 phones in the market or on their way, consumers have not shown much interest in the devices. A bigger push from Microsoft is expected next year with its Nokia partnership, but there appears to be nothing but market share losses from here to that point.
Meanwhile, Android heats up.
--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.
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