It's almost New Year's, which means it's almost time for CES in January, 3GSM in Barcelona, and CTIA in March. In other words, get ready for a fresh new crop of hyped handsets during the winter trade show season. Leading the way this year might just be new flagship phones from Nokia and Sony Ericsson.
Photos of the Nokia N96 surfaced on Flickr this week, and if you believe their authenticity, the successor to the N95 has taken its styling cues from the piano-black N81 that launched earlier this year. The N96 looks to feature a dual-slider mechanism and 5MP camera with flash like the N95, but adds a few goodies like the N81's scrolling D-Pad and a nifty backside kickstand so you can prop the phone on a desk for watching videos. Boy Genius is also reporting that the N96 will ship with the upcoming S60 3rd edition FP2 operating system (for all you hardcore geeks out there).
Meanwhile, purported spy pics of Sony Ericsson's p5i superphone have also hit the InterWeb. Symbian-Freak has a semi-blurry photo of what's supposedly a functional prototype of SE's forthcoming flagship phone running a revamped UIQ operating system on a touchscreen display. Rumors have everything from a full-VGA display to a 5mp camera to WiFi and GPS packed into the P5i, and there's an active thread over at Esato featuring a poster who claims to be an SE tester with access to a pre-production sample.
Cross your fingers with me now that we'll get to see these beauts at CES in a few weeks. My bet is if there is an N96 Nokia will have it on display ... but a P5i might not show up until 3GSM in Barcelona.
See the pictures of the N96 at Flickr and more information from BoyGenius Report.
See the P51i pictures at Symbian-Freak and read the P5i rumors thread at Esato.