Feeds

Nokia to halve its smartphone portfolio in 2010

Sends R&D a maemo

Boost IT visibility and business value

Handset competition used to be all about releasing hundreds of models, many just slight variations on one another.

Now, at the high end at least, it is all about cutting R&D and production costs by focusing on a smaller number of (hopefully) high impact smartphones.

If Apple can get a 3% global share with, effectively, just one phone, the big five are looking to similar efficiencies. Motorola has already slashed the number of phones it plans to develop in 2009-2010, partly by focusing almost entirely on Android at the top end; now Nokia says it will halve its smartphone portfolio next year to reduce "unnecessary differentiation" and maximize the effort behind a few key models.

The market leader already surprised some observers by saying it would add only one phone based on its Maemo Linux OS in 2010, to join the new N900. This is very typical of the new approach - the N900 is a genuine groundbreaker, and Nokia promises the 2010 launch will not be just another smartphone, but will help redefine the mobile internet device category. If it succeeds, it believes it will achieve more bang for less buck, compared to unleashing a host of Maemo products that are not clearly differentiated.

The same goes for its main smartphone platform, Symbian/Series 60. Nokia has increased the number of high end and midrange models it has launched in 2009 - to about 20 - after a damagingly fallow period in 2008, when it lost much of the huge momentum it had originally generated with the N95, which arguably defined the new smartphone segment when it appeared in 2006. Having got some of its mojo back with the N97 and the 'Tube' family, and belatedly embraced touchscreens, Nokia will now cut back again in terms of model numbers.

At its Capital Markets Day this week, Nokia also promised that 2010 would see a major overhaul of its Series 60 user experience, which - coupled with the release of the new open source upgrade of Symbian - could rejuvenate a software platform that is starting to look rather tired, and is under pressure from the more modern Android.

Copyright © 2009, Wireless Watch

Wireless Watch is published by Rethink Research, a London-based IT publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter delivers in-depth analysis and market research of mobile and wireless for business. Subscription details are here.

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.