Over the past year or so, manufacturers have gone crazy with the new models, trying to one-up each other with a phone that came a week later and was 5% better. This was and still is very short-sighted of them, and it has only led to faster commoditization of their products and dilution of their brands.
Sure, it may have helped them to saturate the market faster with their own models rather than the competition, but this will only work in the short-term, and evidence of that is that HTC's revenues are already starting to drop, thanks to their very confusing strategy in 2011 of releasing phone after phone that looked very similar.
The problem with this is that the consumers get tired and in the same time frustrated with this. They buy a phone and 2 weeks later one that is 5% better, or has one little extra feature comes out. This makes consumer hold for months at a time before the "big one", only to get that phone and then start the cycle again with a new better phone coming out just weeks later, and thinking that maybe they should've waited.
Plus, it's obvious the companies are already running out of names for their phones because they put so many out there. And now they have to add letters and numbers to them, just to keep up with the models. This is pretty crazy, because it means no consumer will ever put too much important on some particular model, which means the manufacturers are wasting their money on marketing.
Speaking of marketing, Motorola has decided to sell fewer phone models in 2012, because they can't really put a big push behind some of their models, because they have to split the marketing money between too many models. This again proves the weakness of this model. Apple has the opposite model of releasing just one phone per year, and they make sure every single person on Earth knows about that model. This is a very big reason why Apple is so successful with the iPhone, and almost none of the other manufacturers are even close to being that successful with a particular model, except Samsung.
Samsung has been pretty successful because every year they have a big launch of the next Galaxy S generation, with usually comes with huge improvements over the previous one, and it also stays the best for the next 6 months or so. HTC has never really had this, and Motorola had it for a while with the Droid phones, but then started doing the same as HTC and releasing model after model, even a "new generation" just 6 months later, with only around 20% improvements.
It's good to see that Motorola is trying to go back to fewer models per year, and hopefully HTC will have the same plan for 2012, too, otherwise it's a race towards the bottom for them, with higher cost and complexity, lower profits, and fewer and fewer updates for all their phones. It's much easier to update a few models for a couple of years, than to update 50 models even once.