The second half of 2013 is shaping up as one of the most interesting gadget periods of all time. Within the timeframe, two major release dates will happen - that of the iPhone 5S and the Google Nexus 5.
These devices will try to dislodge the Galaxy S4, currently reputed as the 'King of Smartphone', which is an honour that straddles the two dominant mobile device computing systems - Android and iOS.
Much have been said about the 5S, being the subject of persistent whispers and even wild rumours. While nothing is confirmed about the handset, it is no doubt a major hardware and software debut and it naturally generates consumer excitement just like the GS4 did.
Likely to attract equal amounts of attention given to the GS4 and the 5S is the rumoured Nexus 5, touted as the Nexus 4 replacement and Google's answer to the constantly-growing smartphone dominance enjoyed by Apple and Samsung.
The Nexus 4, for all the bumps and glitches that marred its 2012 launch and distribution, was a relative success. It proved that Google is fully capable of providing quality gadgets and while there were holes that need to be plugged, it was a breakthrough for the tech giant.
And it's only expected that the mild success Google has collected via the Nexus 4 should be extended via the Nexus 5. The native mobile, for its 2012 incarnation, is seen to deliver considerable upgrades from the previous build and here are the four reasons that likely will allow it to defeat the iPhone 5S and the Galaxy S4.
The GS4 brought in quad-core computing, immersive screen rendition and insane camera features at 13MP main shooter, all packed in a portable dynamo that boasts of a 5-inch screen, which is housed by a light, thin and classy-looking casing.
When the 5S comes out in Sept 20, most of these specs are expected to be equalled or exceeded by Apple with the screen serving as the only letdown as the device is rumoured to maintain the iPhone 5's 4-inch viewing window.
Good thing for Google, it can use the combined GS4 and 5S specs as reference to build a smartphone that truly will hold a candle against its rivals. If indeed the Nexus 5 is to be based on LG G2, its hardware prowess should be headlined by a quad-core CPU from Qualcomm, generous RAM provision and a display panel that beams out a very bright 1080p resolution.
One thing going for Google is the advantage of being the latecomer and getting to spy first on the competition then beat them on their own game.
Key Lime Pie vs. iOS 7
This is the battle royale of mobile platforms. When Apple finally outed the iOS 7, it was only a matter of time before Android 5.0 or Key Lime Pie hits the scene. The Jony Ive-designed iPhone (and iPad) operating system drew wows and awes for its simplified interface, redesigned apps icons and expanded features, including the ability to work better with gaming apps and accessories. Pretty much, the new iOS 7 is a straightforward enhancement of the mobile functions and features that Apple fans have been used to.
Will it be the same for KLP? Nothing is certain at the moment except Google engineers are definitely configuring the new system for optimal collaboration with upscale components such as energy-efficient CPU and display.
But one key expectation from KLP, which remains a rumour to date, is the possibility that Google would re-code the software so it will seamlessly work with entry-level, mid-range and high-end gadgets. This objective will allow for optimal Android experience and will slowly erase the problematic fragmentation within the environment. The likelihood of old Android gadgets joining the KLP circle is one exciting prospect represented by the Nexus 5.
When Google plotted its Nexus business model, the major aim is to provide a gadget that is easy to buy, because it is relatively cheap, and is powerful enough for users to enjoy wireless connection and linger within the Google universe.
That template was developed when LTE, which provides for superfast wireless broadband connection, was still in its infancy, hence the absence of the technology on the 2012 Nexus lineup. Now that LTE networks have been massively laid down, Google took the cue and included LTE chips on its hardware offerings, starting off with the new Nexus 7.
With LTE capability on Nexus 5, more users are afforded significant taps to what used to be an elite technology enjoyed only by few consumers. Nexus 5 with LTE adheres to Google's core advocacy of connecting as many people as possible to the World Wide Web, now with levelled up efficiency.
The crux of the matter - gadget pricing war
As smartphones and tablet computers become increasingly equals in features, specs and capabilities, the line is greyed out on which brand delivers the best smartphone performance and experience. In such event, according to analysts, one thing will emerge as the one concern that really matters to gadget shoppers - solid pricing.
Google sets its eye in the future, fully convinced that accessible pricing, partnered with top-notch components, will bring in more buyers, a larger audience and an expanding system, which all boil down to multiplying revenues.
To date, the Nexus 4 at $199 with its impressive specs is one of the most affordable handsets around bearing as few compromises as possible. While the Nexus 5 pricing remains a mystery, it is believe that the price point will not stray too far from its predecessor - to continue on with Google's tradition of mobile connection that doesn't break the bank.
The Nexus 5 is rumoured for an early October release date, likely debuting with Google's Key Lime Pie or Android 5.0.