Story of NOKIA - How and why Nokia failed and its comeback

Nokia was a company that started in 1865. Its headquarter was established in Finland. In the 19th century, the company expanded. The company soon becomes the biggest mobile phone company. The first company that Nokia acquired is the MOBIRA Company. This MOBIRA acquisition helps Nokia in developing handsets. The first car phone handset that the Nokia developed weighed almost 20 kg. It was developed in 1982. It was named mobira senator. After that Nokia developed a handset of 10 kg. After that Nokia developed the first-ever transportable mobile phone in 1984. The weight of that handset was 5 kg. It works both inside and outside of the car. In 1987, Nokia introduced the Nokia mobira cityman. The weight of this phone is 800 grams only. The sale of this phone is extraordinary. This was one of the reasons for Nokia’s early success.



In 1992 Nokia launched the 1011 handset, which spread in the USA and Europe market like a fire. In 1994, Nokia launched 2100 series handsets. It was the first feature phone. Nokia expected to sell 0.4 million handsets but they sold over 20 million handsets. In 1992 Nokia predicted that there will be a market of 40 million handsets users by 1999. But the market size in 1999 grow up to 250 million. In 1998 Nokia becomes the leading mobile manufacturer by beating Motorola. In 1997-1998 Nokia captures 25 percent of the market share. First Nokia expands in USA and Europe, then in Russia, China, and Asia. In the list of 50 most selling handsets, more than 20 handsets are of Nokia. From 2003 to 2005, Nokia launched Nokia 1100 and Nokia 1110. In India, Nokia captures 70 percent of the total market share. Nokia mobile phones sell automatically, the retailer doesn’t have to do anything, and people come and purchase Nokia, just like that. People believe that mobile phones mean Nokia. Nokia becomes a giant in the mobile phone; everybody knows that mobile phone means Nokia. In 2008 Nokia sells 168.4 million phones.

The birth of the android, Google and apple:

This was the first signal for Nokia to change its business. After android and Google, the Nokia market in the USA and Europe shrinks down. After the birth of android, Google, and apple, Nokia sales took a nosedive of 30 percent. This nosedive does not only happen in USA and Europe only, but in the Asian market, we also see some changes with cause another nose dive for the sale of Nokia handsets. In China and the Asian market, Motorola and Samsung launch 50 flip phone models. This resulted in fewer sales for Nokia in the Asian market. In the USA and Europe Market, apple and Google took over and in the Asian market Motorola and Samsung took over. In the Asian market Moto razor phone of Motorola get very famous.

Every competitive advantage has a limited life span, this statement proves right for Nokia. In 2009 and 2010 apple and Google becomes bigger and almost killed Nokia.


In apple, there were 3 lakh applications that are running on the apple store and the android store has 1.25 lakh applications. Even after that, Nokia still holds on to its Symbian operating software. Symbian doesn’t even have 25000 apps. After that Nokia have to lay off many employees. First, there were 2000 employees, then it was 1500, then it becomes a habit. After 2011, Nokia fires its CEO (Olli Pekka Kallasvuo), after that Stephen Elop becomes CEO of Nokia. Stephen Elop said that we are in the building where there is a fire emerging, and we have 2 options, we can either jump from the building to save our lives or try to put the fire out. When apple and Google become giants Nokia decided to change. Nokia moved towards Microsoft. They thought that Nokia has hardware and Microsoft has software, together they can do a lot of things. This plan failed, cause nobody launches the app on windows, they either do it on aap store or android store. Apple and android becomes bigger and bigger. Microsoft and Nokia become lonely because nobody chooses their cell phones.

Many people say that Nokia doesn’t change itself, but it is not true, Nokia changes but it changes in the wrong direction. Nokia after losing the battle completely launches a new phone which is Nokia Lumia. It was also a failure, in the beginning, some people bought Lumia but after that, it fail. After Lumia Nokia stop producing new handsets and it has failed miserably.


Stephen Elop is the new CEO of Nokia. He was a leader with favorable skills but unfavorable will. Forbes magazine said this was the destroyer of Nokia. He has high competence with l_w character. Elop knew that Nokia should adopt android, but instead of moving Nokia to android, Elop sell the company to Microsoft for 7 billion dollars. Before selling the company to Microsoft there was a phone Nokia which is MeeGo operating software, this phone has higher reviews but Stephen Elop stopped it from being a successful handset. Stephen Elop is considered a trojan horse for Nokia.


Microsoft bought Nokia for 7 billion dollars only. Some people might say that this 7 billion is nothing compared to the actual value of Nokia; most people believed that Nokia's price should be 7 times higher than 7 billion. Microsoft after buying Nokia removes the name Nokia and use Microsoft instead. This is considered a bad decision for Microsoft. If they want to remove Nokia then why did they buy the company for 7 billion dollars some people might wonder. Microsoft people said that we have purchased Nokia because we want a hardware company for our mobiles. Microsoft wants to be like an apple. Apple has their own hardware and software, Microsoft wants to do the same but they fail to do so. Nokia and Microsoft try to sell their feature phones to the Asian market, but they fail to do so, the reason for it is simple, Xiaomi and Huawei launched their smartphone in the same price range as Microsoft featured phones.


Microsoft was the last mover because in 2012-2013 many brands have launched their phones and become successful. Microsoft was not the fast mover, it was the slow mover, and this is why they fail miserably. After getting failed, Steve Ballmer who was the CEO of Microsoft goes replaced by Satya Nadella. Satya Nadella publicly claims that buying Nokia was the wrong move for Microsoft. After that Nokia was sell out to HMD global and Microsoft stop making mobile phones and focus on core business. Satya Nadella said that he voted no for Nokia.


In 2016 Nokia’s ex-employees founded a company named HMD global in Finland. They have purchased the right of making and selling phones for 10 years from Microsoft. Nokia didn’t support distributors and retailers in the beginning because their phones are not sold by the retailer or the distributor, but they have a pull brand, which means their phones are automatically sold because eof the brand name, but HMD global does the opposite, they support retailer and the distributors. This time Nokia adopted android, this move help them in gaining some market share. Today HMD global is doing sales, marketing, and branding of the phone and Foxconn is making the mobile phone. Today HMD global is adapting fly light model m, which means they are not taking any big risk. Nokia is now focusing on the phone which ranges from 9000- 15000. They have launched featured phones like 3315 and smartphones. In the 3rd quarter of 2017, Nokia sells 21 million phones. They have launched 12 new smartphone and 5 featured phones. Nokia has built 400 distributors and 80000 retailers in the last 6 months. This is how Nokia bounce back and HMD global revive it.


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