It's apparently estimated that those wild Japanese handsets can cost anywhere from 10 to 20 billion yen to develop, which translates to a range of $110 million to $220 million -- yes, close to a quarter billion frickin' dollars just to pump out one phone (no wonder Mitsu tapped out). The Nokia-backed NoTA initiative, short for Network on Terminal Architecture, hopes to fix all that by compartmentalizing a phone's functions into swappable modules that all know how to play nice with each other out of the box -- think of it like a Lego set for phone makers. If Nokia's estimates are even close to right, the potential benefits of NoTA are staggering, with development time for new models slashed by two-thirds and costs cut by 98 to 99 percent. The company is working with parts suppliers to get NoTA adopted, and a number of Japanese handset manufacturers have apparently expressed interest as well. Don't suppose the interest has to do with saving 9.9 billion yen per model, does it?

Read - Nokia claims 98 to 99 percent development savings with NoTA [Warning: subscription required]
Read - NXP's NoTA primer

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Nokia thinks NoTA concept could save 99 percent of handset development costs