Yesterday, Nokia made the startling announcement that they would be cutting next year's smartphone offerings in half (Reuters). This shocked some in the industry, and has lead to a number of bloggers cheering at Nokia's perceived weakness. While it's true the mobile giant has been losing ground lately, I don't think it's fair to label this decision a panicked retreat or desperate, last-ditch measure. What this decision represents is the fact that the people in charge at Nokia are finally starting to get with the damned program. Nokia released twenty freaking smartphones in 2009. How many of them can you name, right now? No looking on the Internet. The N900, the N97...has anything else made a huge splash this year? Nokia has put some great smartphones out. They are and probably always will be a major fixture of the mobile industry. Unfortunately, right now they're a bit of a dinosaur. The smartphone industry is different than the regular cell phone industry. The same tactics don't work. Apple has three different smartphone models in their whole line, and they don't seem to have suffered any from the lack of variety. Nokia needs to focus on delivering a few, high quality handsets that can generate buzz at several different price points. For an example of how this is supposed to look, take Motorola. They create the very popular, uber-cool Droid and then put out the budget LaJolla. It's hard for gargantuan companies like Nokia to adapt swiftly to changing trends. Their management deserves kudos for recognizing a problem and working to fix it before it can lead to bankruptcy and ruin.
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