The Nokia boss [Jorma Ollila] hopes to follow the tastes of consumers and network operators more closely, by cutting product development time in half. The company is introducing 40 new handsets next year, and networks will be able to differentiate their Nokia offerings with exclusive software and hardware features. To better please consumers, more than half of the new models will have clamshell or other non-candybar shapes. Two-thirds will have cameras. Half will play MP3 music files.
By combining these popular features with Nokia’s competitive cost advantage, the company could push its handset market share from the current 33%, up toward 40%. It’s a big market. Ollila expects industry unit sales to reach 630 million this year, and about 690 million next year.
While Nokia catches up with its rival’s features, it will try to shoot ahead with things like multiple radio technologies. Nearly all its new phones will come with Bluetooth, the short-range wireless protocol that does away with the need for cabling to headsets, printers, automobile sound systems and global positioning system gadgets.
“In 2008 and 2009, the Internet Protocol will be used everywhere,” said Nokia’s enterprise solutions manager Mary McDowell, “and that will be a key enabler of new services. At the moment, we are still a cellular communications-centric company. In five year’s time, we will be a mobility-centric company.”