A company known to all, mobile phone giant, ruler of its industry, the Finnish company behind several product but known for one. There is also the fact that every kingdom has to die one day. The same things happened with this ruler too and today it no longer available in mobile phone industry. It has seen various glorious years, fought battles, some won, some lost, got lost in the fast growing market but despite all that it’s rising again. Let us discuss everything from the time of its inception till the present time.
Rise of Nokia
Nokia’s first fully portable mobile phone was the “Mobira Cityman 900” in 1987. In 1998 Nokia overtook Motorola and becomes the best selling mobile phone brand. It gained popularity around the world (except North America) in a very short period of time. People trusted it for its durability, battery backup and easy to use interface. People loved it for its camera and ‘Snake’ (pre-loaded game). Nokia was one of the pioneers of mobile gaming. Nokia 3310 is still famous for its toughness and people troll it for being the strongest thing in the universe.
Struggle and Demise
Nokia devices had their own Symbian OS. It was good for the feature and mid-range mobile at that time but wasn’t able to evolve in the current market. Even its smartphone version S60 never able to gained popularity in North America, but it gained popularity among Asian and European countries. After the entry of iOS and Android to the smartphone market and third party developers supporting them Nokia wasn’t able to stand in the market. Though it tries a lot. Nokia with the help of Intel started to make Linux based OS, ‘MeeGo’ but after Stephen Elop taking the companies throne and become Nokia’s CEO, he scrapped the MeeGO and in February 2011 Company announced the partnership with Microsoft for Windows Phone. Some would have already predicted this as before Nokia’s CEO, Stephen Elop was a Microsoft employee with the business division.
Nokia came up with the Windows Phone brand, ‘Lumia’, which never performed well. Windows Phone was in its early stage, lagged behind iOS and Android and it also lacked third party developers support, results to the poor performance. At the same time company was gaining in developing countries by its affordable ‘Asha’ (Symbian device) range. In September 2013 it announced to sell its mobile and device division to Microsoft. April 2014 is marked as the end of an era as after that and Nokia mobile becomes Microsoft Mobiles.
Nokia too came up with the Android phone (Nokia X), a highly customized android phone. These devices didn’t had any Google services, despite it had all the Microsoft services and even Windows phone like UI. Even Play Store wasn’t there. You can download android app from third party app stores if you want too. It too never succeeded.
You probably be wondering what happened to MeeGo after Nokia abandoned it. Its development was continued by a former Nokia employee with help of community developers. It was then rebranded it Sailfish OS under the start-up Jolla. Jolla phones were launched at the end of 2013. Sailfish is Open Source OS being developed by Jolla, Sailfish and Mer (fork of MeeGo) communities.
On 18th May, 2016, Microsoft its mobile phone business to HMD Global and FIH with combined value of $350 Million. HMD Global was started by former Nokia employees and FIH is a subsidiary of Foxconn. HMD Global and FIH with the help of Nokia is entering the market again. Nokia will be providing brand and patent licensing to HMD, and will take a seat on the board of directors of the company, as well as set requirements. HMD Global, design rights, and its rights to use to “Nokia” brand on all types of mobile phones and tablets worldwide until 2024. FIH will be handling all the product development and distribution work. Three android based device (Nokia 3, Nokia 5, Nokia 6) have been announced but neither if it is available in any market with the exception of one device (Nokia 6), which was sold in China in a flash sale and sold in seconds. Making the user more nostalgic, HMD even announced a refreshed version of its iconic Nokia 3310. People around the world still waiting for its launch and waiting for the time when they will have the privilege to use this iconic brand device once more.