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12/4/2009
03:35 PM
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Nokia To Trim Smartphone Offerings

The company will pare down its smartphone portfolio in order to better compete against companies such as Apple, Research In Motion, and Palm.

Nokia said it will be reducing the number of smartphone models it produces next year in order to better compete in an increasingly crowded field.

The company is still the leader in smartphones with roughly 35% of the market, but it is struggling a bit with high-end, high-margin devices. Its flagship N97 smartphone is producing solid sales, but it failed to wow reviewers, particularly when compared to devices such as the iPhone 3GS, the Motorola Droid, and the Palm Pre.

Nokia's portfolio included 20 smartphones in 2009, and the company said it would be cutting that number roughly in half.

"We have to cut down unnecessary differentiation, so that we have a far more focused portfolio for next year," said Antti Vasara, Nokia's head of smartphone research, according to Reuters.

The company is facing stiff challenges in the high-end space, as Apple continues to do well with its iPhone lineup, Research In Motion's BlackBerry smartphones are still dominant in the enterprise space and are gaining traction with the mainstream, and multiple manufacturers are flocking to the Google-backed Android operating system. Additionally, the company has a small presence in the United States, which is currently the biggest market for smartphones. It is making some strides with U.S. carriers though, as it was able to get AT&T to offer the E71x smartphone at an attractive price.

There are still some questions about Nokia's platform strategy for its smartphones, as it recently introduced the high-end N900 with the Linux-based Maemo OS. The company said it is committed to Symbian, and the aging OS will be receiving multiple user interface improvements over the next few years.

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