The Story of the Rise and Fall of Nokia

in LeoFinancelast year

There is no doubt that Nokia is one of the oldest technology-based companies in the world. Founded in 1865 in the Finnish town of Tampere, Nokia has over the years grown to become a multinational company with over 100,000 staff across 100 countries of the world. As a matter of fact, Nokia once reported an annual revenue of about £23m.

The story of Nokia's prominence in the global telecommunication industry is very well documented. By 2007, Nokia had become the highest vendor of mobile phones in the world. In short, more than half of the mobile phones used in the world were Nokia products. To crown it all, Nokia phones were known for its durability, reliability, affordability, and long battery life.

As a way of maintaining its dominance in the mobile phone industry, Nokia acquired Symbian Limited, the developer of the Symbian Operating System (OS). This made the Symbian OS almost exclusive to Nokia phones as it continues to extend its market lead and success. Nokia, it would seem, was on top of its game and was prepared to withstand and defeat the fiercest of competitors.

But unknown to Nokia, one of the most brilliant minds that ever walked this planet was lurking on the sidelines, waiting for the perfect opportunity to displace it That man was Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple Inc, whose ideas inspired the launched of the iPhone in the wake of 2007. The iPhone not only became the first smart phone built around multi-touch gestures, it was received with global acclaim. As of November 2018, over 2.2 billion units of the IPhone has been sold.

But the emergence of the iPhone was not really the nail in the coffin of Nokia, Google came into the scene with its own 'nonprofit' mobile OS known as Android. Google was ready to freely distribute their OS to as many phone manufacturers that cared to use it. Unfortunately, Nokia saw Google as a rival company and did not adopt Android. Moreover, Nokia couldn't have abandoned its own Symbian OS, which was by then exclusive to it, and replace it with an OS from a rival company.

Nevertheless, other mobile phone manufacturers such as Samsung, Sony Ericson, etc adopted the Android OS and effectively set the stage to displace Nokia. Apart from presenting mobile phone producers with a free OS, Google had an online store that made the free downloading and monetization of mobile phone applications very seamless. Before anyone realized what was happening, Nokia was already out of business, had bowed to the formidability of its competitors.

Today, Nokia has discarded its Symbian OS for the Android OS but it appears to be too late, too late to compete, too late to redeem the consequences of their resistance to change. But Nokia must have learnt a bitter lesson, that technology is like a moving train which will crush anyone that stands on its way and refuses to ride with it.


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Wonderful history, educative post.. this is so tragic for nokia.. i think this was what happened to BlackBerry too.. not too sure tho

Thank you for this. I always really wondered what happened to Nokia. I guess this just shows that change can be a good thing. Unfortunately I doubt anyone would be looking their way anymore. Not with the likes of Infinix, Techno and even Samsung around.

Sure change is a good thing. And a very good lesson for us is to always be adaptive to the changes around us. Cheers!