The 20-year-olds of today understand what kind of role the first Nokia phones played in their lives. Back when touchscreens did not exist even in imagination, Nokia was the king of mobile phones. Back in the day, more than a communication device, Nokia phones were a source of entertainment and fun. There was the iconic Snake Xenzia game and the existence of colorful phone cases you could swap out every time you wanted to.
Today’s phones have nothing on Nokia phones’ battery life. With its bulk, it could easily pass as a defense weapon. Unlike now that people are divided by the phone brand they use, in the 1990s, the case was what model of Nokia you used. It was either the 3210, 3310, and so on. That’s how big the brand was. If you have used one as a child, have you ever wondered what happened to Nokia that it went out of business?
Nokia’s great start
From the 1990s to the early 2000s, Nokia held the majority of the market share. Nokia started as a paper mill in the late 1980s. Later on, the business expanded into other fields, including cable, radio communication, power, and even tires. And then, they decided to focus on telecommunication and sold off the other businesses under the company.
In 1991, Nokia released its first-ever handheld phone, the Nokia 1011. It was able to store 99 contact numbers and stay on for 90 minutes of calls. After a few years of innovation, the market had the Nokia 2100 series. It was such a hit that it sold 20 million sets all over the world.
The innovation kept going that in every few years, there was a brand new phone series that came out. Undoubtedly, Nokia was a global success, a true world leader. Its stock price even reached a 220% increase.
Just before 2000, Nokia released its famous 3210. It came in six colors, preinstalled games, and a feature that enabled users to send images. The Nokia 3210 was one of the most successful phones in the history of telecommunication, selling around 160 million units worldwide.
Successful overcoming of challenges
When 2000 came, Nokia faced a few hurdles. It was the beginning of wireless technology and the expansion of the Internet. Nokia was able to keep up. It was able to release its first mobile phone with a built-in camera and full-color display. Later on, it was followed by Nokia’s first 3G phone, then built-in video recorders, and the early gaming phones.
Complacency and slow reaction
Then in 2007, it happened. Steve Jobs whipped out an iPhone from his pocket. In 2008, Apple was gaining momentum in its sales while Nokia’s market share was continuously sliding. In the same year, the world saw the launch of Android version 1.0.
IOS and Android tested Nokia’s flexibility, and Nokia wasn’t able to stand this. According to tech experts, the following are Nokia’s shortcomings:
- Too much focus on hardware. Nokia’s strength is in its hardware’s durability. However, they failed to catch the world was moving on.
- While Apple and Google focused on the software-based operating systems, Nokia was confident with their operating system, Symbian, which was device-based. This resulted in incompatibility among Nokia phones of different models. While Samsung, LG, and Motorola went for Android as their operating system, Nokia did not budge.
- Nokia wasn’t able to fix its organizational issues. While its competitors were busy cooking up something new, there was a hot mess inside Nokia. Many holders of key positions decided to abandon ship.
A lesson for business people
There is some lesson to learn here. While the fear of missing out should not be applied in other aspects of life, it is everything in the business world. While all businesses are fixing up their online presence and making their Google ranking high through SEO strategies and experts, you can’t be complacent.
You can’t do nothing and think everything will go well. If anything, you should always be updated. With everything happening so fast because of the Internet, being a minute late to a trend could cause you to lose potential customers.
As the world moved on with better technology, Nokia was too slow to keep up. From enjoying almost half of the market share, in just a few years, only 3 percent of the whole world population owned a Nokia.
They tried to revive their brand. They went to Microsoft for a change in the operating system, but the rivalry between the now giants Android and IOS couldn’t as much as to be tickled by Nokia’s little punches. In the end, any effort to regain their momentum was just futile.