One of the natural side effects of being the largest maker of cellphones in the world is that you produce a lot of different models -- a lot
-- which makes it way too easy for product planning, engineering, and marketing to all have corners cut for even the most important devices in the herd. Nokia
seems to be coming to terms with that, though, announcing that it'll scale back from "around 20" smartphones released this year to roughly a half of that in 2010, allowing it to give each phone the TLC it so desperately needs. Interestingly, the company says that it's looking to the low- to midrange smartphone realm as a hot new competitive frontier -- and an area where it'll "have tools to play offence [sic] as well as defense," possibly thanks to its continued involvement in Symbian
even as it looks to Maemo
to grow the high end. By any measure, it sounds like Nokia's starting to get the hint -- but it's still anyone's guess what kinds of products will ultimately see out of these guys over the next 12 to 18 months.