The Handset Hordes

5:55 PM -- Leading handset manufacturers appear to be ramping up the choice of models available in response to unstable economic conditions.

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) is the latest vendor to plot new introductions in the second half of 2008, according to Avian Research LLC . The firm put out a note today suggesting that Nokia could launch up to 26 new devices in the second half of 2008, with at least 10 of these being smartphones.

Meanwhile, Motorola is promising to launch 34 new devices worldwide in the second half of the year, twice the number of handsets it launched during the first six months of 2008. (See Handsets Hinder as Moto Posts Small Profit .)

With an uncertain economy it is obvious that the major handset makers are racing to hit as many price points, capabilities, and shapes and sizes of handsets as possible. This is probably good news for the consumer but I suspect that analysts will be carefully watching one of their favorite metrics -- average selling prices -- to see if the handset hordes push down prices across the board.

I also wonder what exactly the first post-iPhone device to really fire up the public's imagination will be. I see no sign of one yet.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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