01-17-2011, 05:01 PM
Here's the problem with Android and WP7 manufacturers. They made a high end device and a low end device for each carrier, so that's eight models right there. Then they release new model every six months, so that's twelve models. Then they have multiple variations on the high end and low end, some with keyboards, some without, and a plethora of different screen sizes. It's easy to see how a single company can pump out 25 models in a single year (the article says 50 models by the end of 2012, so it's safe to assume 25 a year). Now multiply this by the number of manufacturers.
That's a lot of phones to sift through for consumers, even after they've narrowed down their carrier of choice. On the one hand, choice is a great thing, especially since it leads to more competition. Unfortunately, it also leads to confusion and frustration as most typical consumers don't know diddly squat about specs or version numbers, so they have a hard time really differentiating between the various models other than by simple things such as screen size and whether or not it has a physical keyboard. With the iPhone, it's simple, just decide how much memory you want.
What manufacturers need to do is consolidate and focus on a handful of products rather than their current shotgun approach of throwing every possible incarnation of a phone at the consumer. Look at the Motorola Droid, it was the only Android phone in its class that Motorola made. It did spectacularly well as people wanted a high end smartphone on Verizon. But in its second round, it did the shotgun approach and threw a plethora of new models out there, the Droid X, the Droid 2, the Droid Pro, etc. So many models, the consumers can't keep up and so they pick something that may or may not be the best device for them or getting something they don't need pushed onto them by the sales person. If manufacturers just focused on a couple of models throughout the year, it would make life easier not only for consumers, but also for the manufacturers as their manufacturing process and advertising is much simpler with fewer devices than with many.