The Macalope Daily: Failure to launch

[Editor’s Note: The Macalope Daily is an exclusive benefit for our Macworld Insider members, but is being made available to all Macworld readers for a limited time. To learn more about this and other features, visit our Macworld Insider information page.]

The rush is on to get your announcements in before next week’s iPhone event, when all other news will be starved of oxygen, nitrogen, argon, and several noble gasses to be named later.

Wednesday saw smartphone companies announce not one, but two flagship products. Or, at least, what other vendors call flagship products.

Let’s start with Nokia, which these days needs a comeback hit more than M. Night Shyamalan. Well, OK, maybe not more. But equally as bad. Appearing with its new pals at Microsoft, Nokia announced the hot new Lumia 920 and 820 with Windows Phone 8. The 920—which is at least 20 better than the previous generation Lumia 900—has image stabilization, wireless charging, NFC capabilities, and attractive color options.

Sounds awesome! Where and when can you get your hooves on one of these babies? Let’s go to the Q&A. Question number one!

“It all sounds exciting, when can I get one?” Stuart Miles.

“Not announcing specific pricing today.”

Huh. OK, well, question number two.

Question: When will the new Lumia 920 come to China?

“We are not announcing dates.”

Apparently the pricing and release information was eaten by the same dog that ate the data for the Microsoft Surface.

OK, the horny one gets that Microsoft is behind the 8-ball here and needs to keep reminding people that it exists, especially a week before or after an Apple event. But two events in a row with no pricing and availability? People might start thinking you don’t know what you’re doing.

Maybe.

It’s clear Nokia didn’t know what it was doing when it faked the image stabilization feature in its ad.

They stressed that it was “never the company’s intention to deceive anyone,” but only to demonstrate the benefits of optical image stabilization.

As well as, presumably, demonstrating the benefits of taking video using a professional camera in a van instead of a smartphone on a bicycle.

The other big announcement came from Google’s Motorola Mobility division, which one-upped Nokia by announcing three phones with totally awesome names. Are you ready for this? Here we go.

The DROID RAZR M, the DROID RAZR HD and the DROID RAZR MAXX HD.

The caps are Motorola’s, not the Macalope’s.

Yes, Motorola announced three shouty phones with Kevlar enclosures and large batteries, and which are running Android 4.0.

Wait, Android 4.0? 4.0? Yep, the phones don’t even run the latest version of Android. At least Android OEMs can’t accuse Google of giving Motorola a strategic advantage.

As Dan Frommer notes, neither of these announcements is going to cause any lost sleep in Cupertino. And it’s looking like it’s going to take Apple (and Samsung) falling asleep at their desks for Microsoft/Nokia and Google/Motorola to catch up.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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