Jo Harlow, the new chief of Nokia's smartphone unit, has announced that from hereon in the company will cut its range of models coming to market by 50 per cent. The rationale behind is that this will allow the Finnish mobile phone giant to focus on making more functional and altogether better phones.
It’s a welcome move. In recent years, Nokia’s approach has been to flood the market with product, presumably so that there’s a Nokia phone to suit all tastes and price ranges. But you can’t help feeling that at times all that this has done is dilute the strength of their brand and the visibility of their flagship phones.
By way of example, contrast how Nokia has looked to leverage its brand with the approach taken by Apple. The latter essentially has – give or take the yearly upgrades - one brilliant phone and an astronomical marketing budget. But it’s still managed to capture three per cent of the smartphone market in just three years.
Now look at Nokia. Latterly, although it still accounts for four in ten of every phones sold worldwide, its market share has flatlined. And that’s despite some ace handsets like the N97 and the 5800. Things reached a nadir in the third quarter of the year when it posted its first loss for a decade.
We think we can detect the New Model Nokia already. Take a look at the attention to detail that’s gone into the X6 and N900. The former looks as good as an iPhone. Meanwhile, the decision to debut Maemo on the N900 suggests that we can look forward genuinely landmark device.
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