updated 01:55 pm EST, Thu December 3, 2009
Nokia wants simpler smartphone range
Nokia told those in an Internet broadcast that it plans to produce half as many smartphones in 2010 as it did this year. The company is scaling back the number of models to avoid "unnecessary differentiation" and ship multiple phones with only small changes between them. Those models that are left should get more attention as a result.
"We have a far more focused portfolio for next year," smartphone research head Antti Vasara said. "We can put more effort behind these products."
The head of the recently created smartphone division, Jo Harlow, acknowledged that the whittling of its line was in reaction to "fierce" competition, particularly at the high-end dominated by devices like the iPhone or some of the BlackBerry line. Harlow warned that competition was increasing at lower price points as well.
Part of its drop in market share has been attributed to having a redundant phone lineup: it has often had multiple phones in a given form factor with relatively arbitrary differences between them, such as having a different default software bundle or a new camera. Its touchscreen line is particularly culpable as the company released the N97 mini just months after the N97, while the N900 has identical specs to the N97 but uses Maemo instead of Symbian and a slightly different visual design.