Nokia to halve smartphone portfolio

Nokia is making plans to slash the number of smartphones that it'll be rolling out in 2010. The company, which rolled out 20 high-end handsets in 2009, will be making the chop to put more effort behind fewer products.

Nokia is still the world leader for sales of smartphones, but the gap is closing. Jo Harlow, Nokia's new top smartphone staffer, appointed in October, said in a webcast: "We will defend our position, but we believe we also have tools to play offence as well as defence".

Nokia's smartphone share has plummeted 6% over the most recent quarter, leading it to make drastic plans to turn the fall around. Antti Vasara, head of smartphones R&D, said: "We have cut down unnecessary differentiation, so that we have a far more focused portfolio for next year".

Analysts are urging caution for Nokia, which has benefited in the past from its wide portfolio. However, Pablo Perez-Fernandez, analyst with MKM Partners, said: "Nokia's phone selection includes too many models that look and feel the same, and we believe this dizzying array of choices confuses consumers".

When we get the details of which models will be launched in 2010, we'll be sure to let you know.