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The Downfall of Nokia


I am a resident of a country in which Nokias sell like hotcakes.
And why shouldn’t they?
Nokias are known for their durability, long battery life, simple User Interface and their affordability. Most Indians have a Nokia as their first phone. And most of them get so hooked onto the UI of the phone that their next phone is also a Nokia. Besides, Nokia phones also have a good re-sale value. A well-handled Nokia handset should fetch its owner at least 50% of the original cost.

2002- With the introduction of Symbian in the Nokia 7650, Nokia took the world by surprise. Symbian was a brand new OS unleashed for the public. It was fresh, simple and plain awesomeness. People went crazy developing stuff for the world’s first Symbian phone. With a $769 million net profit, Nokia was laughing all the way to the bank.

2007- The iPhone releases. According to the Time Magazine, it was the ‘Invention of The Year’. At this time, Nokia seemed unperturbed by the fact that Apple had managed to sell 6.1 million iPhones. In fact, 2 years later(2009), Nokia even went on to sue Apple for infringing patents on mobile phone technology for the iPhone. Nokia had said that it had signed agreements with about 40 companies to use their technology & that Apple wasn’t one of them.

The basic principle in the mobile industry is that those companies who contribute in technology development to establish standards create intellectual property, which others then need to compensate for.Apple is also expected to follow this principle.”- Ilkka Rahnasto (vice-president of legal and intellectual property at Nokia)

Nokia claimed to have spent about $60 billion on R&D .

2008- HTC & Google release the first Android phone-the HTC Dream. The world is amazed & for the first time, a platform other than iOS, Symbian & Windows created such a huge mark.

2011- Nokia CEO Stephen Elop sent a 1300 word memo to his staff which said- “The first iPhone shipped in 2007, and we still don’t have a product that is close to their experience. Android came on the scene just over 2 years ago, and this week they took our leadership position in smartphone volumes. Unbelievable.”
Clearly, Mr. Elop is shit scared. He has finally realized that a radical change is necessary for Nokia to survive.
Elop went on to compare Nokia’s situation to that of a burning oil rig  & that it was time for them to jump.
So, what does Nokia do?
They announce a partnership with one of the biggest companies in the world- Microsoft.Nokia was paid $1 billion by Microsoft to promote and develop Windows-based handsets as part of their smartphone software agreement.

If this partnership succeeds, it could be extremely dangerous for Apple’s iOS & Google’ s Android.

What else added to Nokia’s landslide?

  • Applications- The Ovi Store when compared to the Android Market & the App Store is a bloody joke. The quality of applications on the Symbian platform is absolutely rubbish when compared to the Android Market & the App Store.
  • Lousy touch interface- When Nokia launched the 5800(their first touch-screen device released to public) in 2008, people LOVED the phone..But, the only drawback was the touch interface. What most users wanted was the sleekness & the fluidity of the iPhone. But, Nokia failed to provide them with that.
    And, instead of improvising on this problem, Nokia went on to release two new devices(5233 and 5530) with the same technology. Once again, the consumers loved the phone but, hated the touch.
  • Symbian- Nokia had been trying to woo developers with Symbian’s openness. But,  factualness would tell you that Nokia has always had a certain conflicting feelings towards their OS. Nokia makes some great hardware, no doubt. It’s the software that sucks. The N97 & N8 were exceptional phones exempting the OS. And let’s face it. In today’s world, the OS of a phone has to work in conjunction with the hardware. When using a Nokia smartphone, the software & the hardware barely come together to give the user a quality experience.

Yes, in the past, Nokia had its dumbphone profits. But, the dumbphone market is now dying. Not even a road-side vendor would want to be seen with a Nokia 1100 now-a-days(That phone was quite the rage in third-world countries.) Smartphones are slowly being regarded as an average consumer’s phone.
Nokia has produced some really innovative ideas. For example- the 6820 had a fold-out QWERTY keypad which pleased text messaging addicts worldwide. The N95 was another marvelous phone which was an object of desire for consumers worldwide, before the iPhone was released.
My very first phone was a Nokia 6020 & let me tell you- Back then. it was one of the best phones that a 13 year old could have. It had everything I could ask for. And I’m sure many teenagers out there would agree with me on this fact. :)

Some fun facts about Nokia you wouldn’t know-

1.The ringtone “Nokia tune” is actually based on a 19th century guitar work named “Gran Vals” by Spanish musician Francisco ¡rrega. The Nokia Tune was originally named “Grande Valse” on Nokia phones but was changed to “Nokia Tune” around 1998 when it became so well known that people referred to it as the “Nokia Tune.”

2. The world’s first commercial GSM call was made in 1991 in Helsinki over a Nokia-supplied network, by Prime Minister of Finland Harri Holkeri, using a Nokia phone.

3. Nokia is currently the world’s largest digital camera manufacturer, as the sales of its camera-equipped mobile phones have exceeded those of any conventional camera manufacturer.

4. The “Special” tone available to users of Nokia phones when receiving SMS (text messages) is actually Morse code for “SMS”. Similarly, the “Ascending” SMS tone is Morse code for “Connecting People,” Nokia’s slogan. The “Standard” SMS tone is Morse code for “M” (Message).

5. The Nokia corporate font (typeface) is the AgfaMonotype Nokia Sans font, originally designed by Eric Spiekermann. Its mobile phone User’s Guides Nokia mostly used the Agfa Rotis Sans 6) In Asia, the digit 4 never appears in any Nokia handset model number, because 4 is considered unlucky in many parts of Southeast/East Asia.

6. Nokia was listed as the 20th most admirable company worldwide in Fortune’s list of 2006 (1st in network communications, 4th non-US company).

7. Unlike other modern day handsets, Nokia phones do not automatically start the call timer when the call is connected, but start it when the call is initiated. (Except for Series 60 based handsets like the Nokia 6600)

8. Nokia is sometimes called aikon (Nokia backwards) by non-Nokia mobile phone users and by mobile software developers, because “aikon” is used in various SDK software packages, including Nokia’s own Symbian S60 SDK.

9. The name of the town of Nokia originated from the river which flowed through the town. The river itself, Nokianvirta, was named after the old Finnish word originally meaning sable, later pine marten. A species of this small, black-furred predatory animal was once found in the region, but it is now extinct.

Courtesy of facts- http://www.citehr.com/101301-facts-about-nokia.html :)

As long as Nokia keeps connecting people, people will keep buying their phones. Cheers to Nokia. :D

3 responses

  1. Nice post :)
    I have a 5800xpressmusic,and it SUCKS!!!!

    March 12, 2011 at 10:27 AM

  2. prachi

    nice :):)

    July 9, 2012 at 9:24 PM

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