In a sign of the times where many countries have saturated mobile phone markets, Japan's NTT DoCoMo has abandoned its traditional marketing strategies and released new handsets aimed at very clearly defined niches.

Japan's number-one carrier revealed 22 new phones in Tokyo this morning that are most notable for what they lack – the company's tried and trusted series numbers that customers are very familiar with.

That's you, that is

Instead of 90x and 70x series models, DoCoMo is hoping prospective customers will identify with one of its new Style, Prime, Smart or Pro series phones when considering changing handsets or carriers.

If those labels aren't obvious enough, DoCoMo also spelled out that the four badges represent fashionable, more-or-less normal, geeky and businesslike people, respectively.

Pile it high

As for the phones themselves, they continue the Japanese obsession with adding ever more features to increasingly bulky handsets.

New functions in this round of updates include real-time location tracking of friends, online multiplayer games and phone-based widgets for the first time.

The handsets will start hitting the market in Japan from 19 November and prices will vary according to the length and kind of contract taken out.