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Nokia to Halve Smartphone Models In 2010

Gordon Kelly by

Nokia to Halve Smartphone Models In 2010

There's a quiet revolution going on inside Nokia of which this is the latest example...

This year we've already seen the company's first netbook, the roll out of Ovi, swallowing of N-Gage, embracing of VoIP, backing of Maemo and its thoughts for a radical overhaul of Symbian. Now Nokia is being equally disciplined with its handset ranges.

According to Reuters this means the Finns are planning to slash the number of smartphone models they produce next year from around 20 in 2009 to 10 in 2010. This makes perfect sense given the increasingly convoluted state of Nokia's product lines and the minimalist extreme from Apple, which has shown selling just two incrementally different models can still reap large rewards.

Of course Nokia is still the largest smartphone maker, but Reuters reports it share of the smartphone market has dropped from 41 per cent to 35 per cent in the last two quarters alone. That's a worrying trend given smartphones tend to be the most lucrative sector and is something it will be keen to reverse - especially with rumours flying around that it could even sell its mobile phone division. Best foot forward...

In related news Sony Ericsson has been rather less logical in addressing the glitch in its flagship Satio handset which saw the model taken off sale last week. Speaking to Tech Radar, a spokesperson said right now a fix "for the generic version of Satio is now available via the Sony Ericsson support site", but that it has "not done any pro-active communication around this" because of potential differences in Satio software configurations for different networks.

Personally I'd suggest a) this is why you don't let networks customise your handset software and b) when your most important Christmas handset very publicly falls over, you make it very clear about when you have fixed it.

Still that's one down, one to go...

Links:

via Reuters

via Tech Radar

Go to comments

MrGodfrey

December 4, 2009, 10:13 pm

"Personally I'd suggest a) this is why you don't let networks customise your handset software"





Amen. Why do manufacturers allow the networks to walk all over them (and us end-users)? I can't benefit from firmware updates for my Samsung without basically hacking the 'phone and invalidating the warranty. Instead I have to wait for Orange to release their own update (which they have no interest in doing).





As for Nokia's move, it makes a lot of sense and I hope Sony, Samsung and others will follow their lead in drastically reducing their handset ranges.

Luan Bach

December 4, 2009, 11:04 pm

I think part of Nokia pass success was their ability to churn out a larger number of models that covers the entire price range. We'll see whether cutting down the numbers will affect this.

ChaosDefinesOrder

December 4, 2009, 11:21 pm

@MrGodfrey: "Why do manufacturers allow the networks to walk all over them"





This is because, contrary to what many people think, we the end users are NOT the "customers". The customers are in fact the telcos that buy, and subsequently specify, the handsets and then effectively sell them on to the end users with the airtime contracts. A good example of this was the Skype problem relatively recently where the big telcos flat out demanded that Nokia remove the native Skype integration from their handsets or they would ban the handsets from their networks, thus cutting out a significant market for Nokia.





Put simply, until the telcos realise they are just "dumb pipes" they will continue to f**k over the end user in the name of protecting their own interests and diverting their end users to the premium rate "added value applications" - also known as bloatware and "annoying flashing links on the home screen that takes you to somewhere you could have gotten to better and/or cheaper though the built in browser and google"

Premfab

December 4, 2009, 11:38 pm

Finally, some sense. We may even be in some danger of getting quality instead of quantity now.





HTC, pay attention !!

MrGodfrey

December 5, 2009, 2:51 pm

ChaosDefinesOrder: This is why I used the term "end users" as opposed to "customers". However while I am aware of why the telcos do it, it still amazes me that the manufacturers let them. After all, I think it is fair to say that many consumers are choosing handsets first and then picking the network which will give them that handset (switching networks and retaining numbers is relatively easy, and "loyalty" rewards negligible). It should therefore be possible for manufacturers to stand up to individual telcos on the basis that by not offering their handsets, they are losing many potential customers who will get the same handset elsewhere. But this cannot happen when the telcos gang up and effectively act as a cartel. In the current climate there is no interest in stopping them from acting in this way; no-one wants to be accused of stifling business. There are even people (including the next Government) who want LESS regulation... oh goody.

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