This is an article for those reading this on their fancy smartphones that they can’t live without.
We all remember the times (that is if you were born before 2004) when our parents had these chunky Nokia phones with those common number-grid buttons and the green-backlit screens. These phones were only able to call and message and have basic functionalities such as a calculator or something while the ‘higher-end’ ones were able to send e-mails. But that was when no one knew what the heck an i-phone was.
Well, as we all know, those days are gone.
Well, I mean, “OMG hav u evr seen any1 usin a nokia. LOL.”
Nowdays, you hear people say “OMG have you seen the latest update for Instagram for iOS? I am so getting it” a lot more than “Have you ever tried e-mail, its sooo cool! Or Apple fanboys saying “i-phone is way better than your stupid Samsung hahaha.” However, no one ever says, “Nokia is the best cell phone maker in the world, period.”
The Fall of Nokia
Let me explain why no one speaks about Nokia.
When Nokia was at its peak in 2007, it owned a 41% marketshare of the cell phone market (source CNET) whereas today, Samsung hardly reaches 30% at the end of 2014 (source IDC). Mind you, in the second quarter of 2014 in India, Nokia still had a market share of 4%!
How did Nokia go from number one to a has-been in less than eight years?
All I can say is these words – customization, freedom and touch. In 2007, most Nokias still had only those ‘basic’ functions until the i-Phone came. The reason for the i-phone’s success was it was different. It had touchscreen where you could actually control your phones with fingers. It even gave the user an opportunity to download ‘applications’ from the App Store where you could do things like drawing or playing first-person shooter games on your phones like never before. The i-phone was also very easy to use and had a unique environment that had a personalized feel to it. Nokia turned a blind eye to the change and continued on with their game until 2010 by which it was too late.
In 2010 came Android, another ‘unique’ OS that came on an array of smartphones from known makers such as Samsung, LG, Motorola and HTC.
By then it was too late for Nokia. Its new Nokia 5800 couldn’t make a difference. Even their take on this new fad – Symbian didn’t come through well
What I think this is that Nokia’s ego and character was the cause of their rise but also the cause of their fall.
Then for the next few years Nokia was nowhere to be seen until their partnership with Microsoft to make a line of Windows Lumia phones. But even they weren’t a huge success. They continued to make Windows and android-based devices until Microsoft completely took-over Nokia in 2014 for $7.5 billion with Nokia CEO Stephen Elop getting a new job as as the head of devices at Microsoft.
Today, everyone from our parents’ age and a few of us tech geeks know Nokia as the father of cell phones, the result of the legacy they have left behind. The rest of the youth today probably don’t even remember the brand.