Company Name: Nokia, Inc.
Industry: Telecommunications Equipment
Date Founded: May 12, 1865
Location: Espoo, Uusimaa, Finland
Mission Statement: 
“Connecting People.”

The Nokia Joke

They just learned it the hardest and most expensive way.

Here’s a common joke during those days. I have my phone that is as hard as a brick; if a snatcher would try to snatch it from me, I’ll just smack him with this, and he’s done. And even use the very same phone to call an ambulance.

It is as hard as a diamond that if it fell on the floor, the floor will crack.




Yes, probably those were just popular jokes back then, but I guess, they epitomized the imprint that the phone brand left in the history of mobile phones, and even the world. There was a time when a giant mobile phone brand was completely immovable, tough as nails and leading this industry in a dominating fashion. And as how tough this brand was during its reign on the top, the same could be said to one of their signature phones, the very same phone those jokes were pertaining to –the Nokia 3310. But those were the glory days, as Nokia slowly vanished in the shadows away from the limelight. And now, as they try to go back into the spotlight, let’s take a look at their glory and trouble days, their fall and their new bid to climb to the top.

Nokia’s Glory Days

Coined as the father of mobile phones, Nokia pioneered innovations and technological improvements in mobile space. Nokia bannered their tagline “Connecting People” and dictated the most trends in the mobile phone industry. Indeed, they lived up to their tagline, as they became one of the world’s renowned mobile phone brands. They officially claimed their throne as the leading cellular phone brand in 1998 as they surpassed Motorola by selling nearly 41 million units of Nokia 6100 series around the globe. They lead innovations on cell phone brands since then, introducing Nokia 6110 – the first phone with classic game Snakes pre- installed on it; Nokia 8110 – the first phone without external antenna; the flagship Nokia 3210 – boasting 4 – 5 hours talk time along with ringtones and games.

The 2000’s imposed threat to Nokia. The new era brought the convergence of wireless and internet technologies; however, Nokia easily adapted to the evolution and worked things out to their favor. It was when Nokia launched, Nokia 3650 – the first Symbian series 60 device and pioneered the incorporation of video recorder to phones, started cementing its claim as the world’s largest phone company. Nokia’s highest peak was when a whopping 250 million units of Nokia 1100 was sold.

Feel old yet? It was really nostalgic when we talk how Nokia was dominating back then. Nokia was not just a phone, but to the generation who supported that phone brand, it was a witness to how lives, feelings and souls were connected despite of the distance.

The Downfall

“Choose curiosity over clarity” – Rajeev Suri, CEO, Nokia

It was when a drastic change in the wireless technology platform occurred made Nokia to step down from its throne. This time, they tried to play it safe, confident to what the brand has established, they failed to cope up to the evolution of mobile phones. With the emergence of android phones and Iphones, iOS during the latter part of 2000’s, competition became stiff and the throne left by Nokia was up for anyone’s claim. There were moves by Nokia that did not go well for them. First was when they dropped Symbian OS – the very same OS that rode them to success. Second was their failure to acquire a competitive OS which during that time will be up against Apple’s reinvention of phones, the threat of smart phones, iphones and iOS.

Nokia Acquisition

Stephen Elop & Steve Ballmer during Microsoft’s acquisition of the Nokia in ’11

Whether these can be attributed to Nokia’s long years of dominance and pride, or they just wanted to retain their image, Nokia, did not really attempt to adapt to the current trend for mobile phones, or during this time more known as “smart phones”. Instead, partnered with Microsoft, they tried to inject windows on mobile phones hoping to compete against smart phones. Unfortunately, the move wasn’t enough and left Nokia behind the shadows far from the limelight.

Nokia 9

Nokia 9 -Something phone afficionados can look forward to.

The Dramatic End & A Resilient Comeback

“We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost” – Rajeev Suri, CEO, Nokia

That’s all Rajeev Suri, Nokia’s CEO can say as he and his management parted ways with their iconic mobile phone brand. It is true though, they didn’t do anything wrong, but the reason why they lost was because they did not do enough. They failed to adapt to the world trends. They were left in uncertainty as the rest of the world progressed. Their failure to adapt to change killed their chances of survival. They stopped learning, they refused to change. They got themselves eliminated from the competition when they opted to go against the trends. Or maybe the popular saying is just true; that everything that goes up must go down. It’s the circle of life.

Maybe, this holds true too; the brand itself is the same as their iconic 3310. It may be durable, tough and strong but it couldn’t stand the test of time. Maybe Nokia and its signature 3310 was not really as unbreakable as what it seemed, but I guess one thing is for sure, same as how 3310 still works after falling on the floor, Nokia, the brand itself is as resilient as their signature brand.

Nokia’s still trying to do a comeback after falling from the competition, whether they will succeed, it is up for everyone to find out. With their innovated 3310 and New Nokia smart phones, one thing is for sure. They’ve learned the hardest ways, willing to start again from the scratch and they are up for a huge comeback. The father of all mobile phones is back!

Let’s see if Nokia’s resilience is something everyone should be inspired about.

Resources: Wikipedia, Business Insider, Nokia Website

About The Author
A dreamer by night, a storyteller by day. His stories are told through the click of his camera lens and the strokes of his pen.
Reynald Idano Magallon

BIFC Beat Writer

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