Finnish manufacturer Nokia has announced that it will be shipping half the number of smartphones in 2010 compared to what it did this year, which doesn't come as a surprise to observers.
Nokia has already started to cut down costs by eliminating some R&D jobs in Japan for example. Perhaps the most telling reason why Nokia might want to slash the number of smartphones in its portfolio next year might have to do with the fact that the most successful smartphone manufacturer, Apple, essentially has one model for 12 months.
Jo Harlow, the new head of Nokia's smartphone unit, says that the company would be looking to reduce unnecessary differentiation and focus on a small number of crucial models. In comparison, Nokia launched 20 high-end handsets, roughly one every 18 days.
In addition, Nokia is likely to concentrate on the more lucrative application segment as well, a key revenue earner and differentiator where Apple is currently the market leader.
Nokia has had to deal with the emerging threat of Korean giants, Samsung and LG, while feeling the heat at the very top from Apple's iPhone and RIM's Blackberry signature phones. Its market share plunged from 41 percent to 35 percent over three months.
We were a bit puzzled by the launch of the N97, N97 mini and the N900, a Maemo based tablet that is in effect a variation of the N97. So in effect, rather than selling three smartphones, Nokia could have sold only one of them, the N900.