Current flagship: Samsung Galaxy S4

Launched: March 2013

Current price: £549

Expected Samsung Galaxy S5 release date: March 2014

Nokia

Nokia LUmia 1020

If there's a pattern to Nokia's release schedule it's the kind of pattern only Jackson Pollock could divine: since betting the farm on Windows Phone the Finnish firm has apparently been planning launch dates by throwing darts in the vague direction of a calendar.

The Lumia 800 and 710, Nokia's first Windows Phones, were unveiled in November 2011; their successors, the 900 and 610, turned up the following April - and their successors appeared in September 2012. Since then we've seen launches in December (the Lumia 620), May (the Lumia 925) and July (the Lumia 1020 and 625).

Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's phone business could mean price cuts, even on flagships: the Lumia 1020 has just dropped by $100 in the US.

Current flagship: Nokia Lumia 1020

Launched: July 2013 (UK release expected September 2013)

Current price: £550 (estimated)

Expected Nokia Lumia 930 release date: Your guess is as good as ours

Google

Nexus 4

Do you prefer your Android unadorned, its skin unsullied by TouchWiz or Sense? If the answer is yes then it's Google's Nexus range for you, and so far that appears to be sticking to a reasonably predictable schedule.

The first Nexus, the Nexus One, may have been a January launch back in 2010, but since then Google has aimed to launch its Nexus phones early enough for the lucrative Christmas shopping season.

The Samsung-made Nexus S was launched in December 2010, the (Samsung again) Galaxy Nexus was unveiled in November 2011 and the LG Nexus 4 was released in November 2012.

That annual release schedule may be changing, however, or at least moving forward a little bit: in late August the Nexus 4 got a massive price cut, bringing it down to just £159 for the 8GB version.

That and the Nexus's sudden disappearance from UK retailers such as Carphone Warehouse suggests that the shelves are being cleared for a newer version, and the timing indicates that it might be coming much sooner than November – although don't be surprised if Google holds off to make the most of the holiday season rush.

Current flagship: Nexus 4

Launched: November 2012

Current price: £159

Expected Nexus 5 release date: October / November 2013