A to Z History of Nokia Phones since 1918

 At the flip of the Nineteen Eighties and also the Nineteen Nineties, Nokia Corporation two-faced a severe crisis and was forced to form a company turnaround. within the method, the corporate quickly focused on mobile phones and telecommunication networks and by the mid-1990s, had divested itself of dozens of different lines of companies. By the late Nineteen Nineties, mobile phones clearly made the bulk of each worldwide web sales and also the operational profit of the corporate (Appendix 3). In 1982, Nokia introduced the world’s initial automotive phone for the Nordic Mobile phone (NMT) nonliteral commonplace. In 1991, the GSM commonplace for digital cellular networks was adopted because of the pan-European digital commonplace – once more, Nokia competes for a key role within the connected technology development and standardization method (Manninen, 2002). whereas mobile communications evolved chop-chop throughout the Nineteen Nineties and also the early 2000s, Nokia was ready to establish itself because the clear international market leader in mobile handsets, with sales peaking in 2007 and remaining therein position till the second quarter of 2008 (Appendix 3).


The success of Nokia within the early 2000s and its technology development was coupled to the Symbian package. In June 1998, Nokia, Ericsson, Motorola, and Psion established Symbian Ltd., which became the developer of the package Symbian OS.4 The company’s main strategic focus throughout the first 2000s was to expand to each the mobile voice market and also the transmission business. As we’ll see below, these targets were typically conflicting instead of complementary in terms of technological and organizational decisions and techniques. as an example, in 2004 alone, Nokia introduced thirty-six mobile device models5 altogether value ranges and with a large type of purposeful options. penetration was spectacular – Nokia sold out its billionth phone in 2005,6 and its peak international market share reached thirty-ninth in early 2008 (Appendix 3).


After the introduction of Apple’s iPhone in 2007, Google’s Associate in Nursingnouncement that it had shaped an Open French telephone Alliance to develop standards for mobile devices and, most significantly, Android OS, matters within the movable device market quickly began to agitate. For the primary time in its recent history, within the latter half of 2008, Nokia’s international market share in mobile devices declined. in just 2 years, Nokia’s operational profits shrank; by 2011, the corporation as a full was unprofitable.

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In 2008, Nokia’s prime management created a call to accumulate the total possession of Symbian Ltd., which was still the world’s leading smartphone code platform.7 In 2010, Nokia launched Associate in Nursing ‘iPhone killer’ – the flagship N8, that was the primary product to run on the improved Symbian^3 OS, however with no success in difficult iPhone. Moreover, in February 2010, Nokia and Intel formally proclaimed joint plans to make a brand new code platform, MeeGo, which might support multiple hardware architectures.8 within the fall of 2010, the previous head of the Microsoft Business Division, writer Elop, was appointed because the new chief operating officer of Nokia. The strategic intent of Elop’s new prime management team was to regain product leadership within the smartphone market and to retain the market leader position in low-end mobile phones. To do so, Elop and Nokia proclaimed a collaboration between Microsoft and Nokia ‘to a kinda broad strategic partnership that will use their complementary strengths and experience to make a brand new international mobile ecosystem’.9


Contrary to its earlier strategy, Nokia determined to adopt the Windows Phone package (OS) because the primary smartphone platform for Nokia devices for (at least) 3 years. This call conjointly meant the top of the event of Symbian OS, MeeGo, and the different OS comes to a district within which virtually thousands of code developers and engineers were still acting at full steam. In Gregorian calendar month 2013, when 2 years of shut cooperation between Nokia and Microsoft, the businesses proclaimed that Microsoft would purchase Nokia’s Devices and Services business.10 In savvy, the Microsoft acquisition was solely a cosmetic amendment to the market piece of land, because the golem camp and to a lesser extent, iOS/Apple had confiscated the dominant position.



The key lesson of our study is summarized as follows: there are no shortcuts in explaining complicated causative processes. Nokia failed to lose its market leader position as a result of middle manager concern and anxiety, internal politics, or as a result of deteriorating high leader competency. Such easy explanations originate from the sturdy tendency to formulate compacted narratives and novel theoretical explanations in each tutorial management analysis and well-liked management literature (Barley, 2016).


The initial motivation for our study was to collaborate with Nokia engineers to gather oral histories centered on code development and therefore the ill-starred Symbian platform. this text may be a by-product of that project, with the goal of importantly analyzing the connected organic {process|biological process} process as studied by business historians with a philosophical background in critical realism. whereas we have a tendency to don’t argue that we have a tendency to found the reality regarding Nokia’s history (or a chunk thereof), our study ought to be seen as a step towards accumulative data concerning Nokia’s loss of market leadership and similar failure cases (cf. Finkelstein’s 2006 study on Motorola).

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Consequently, our key finding was the causative relationship between selections regarding technology and organizational style, as illustrated in Figure 6:


Figure 6. causative model of the method ending in Nokia’s inability to provide higher smartphones.



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The on top of the causative model illustrates that the agile management philosophy materialized in an exceedingly constant flow of changes in organizational structure, permitting multiple incompatible technology platforms and development to come to vie for resources at constant time. The organizational outcome was a profound inability to use the still-abundant resources Nokia possessed effectively and with efficiency to retain market leadership. we’ve to recollect that in our amount of study, Nokia used virtually €19 billion for its own share buybacks rather than investing this huge total within the development of latest technologies, products, processes, or entirely new businesses (Hämäläinen, 2012).


There square measure several queries that our study couldn’t answer: why was the event of the Maemo platform halted and therefore the resources transferred to a risky joint project with Intel; why did high executives believe the long-run prospects of the Symbian platform for thus long; and the way did Nokia use external advisers in creating varied platform decisions? Naturally, our main argument isn’t that legerity would be a strategic management construct typically and univocally harmful for company performance altogether doable contexts or that organic evolution and progressive learning would be useful for every and each firm. What we have a tendency to aimed to demonstrate through the Nokia case is that the corporation selected the worst doable time for the coincident implementation of each strategic legerity and high organic process variation in its technologies. Speedy decision-making (Stieglitz, Knudsen, & Becker, 2016) in the course of merciless, effective, and economical field of study product innovation (Henderson & Clark, 1990) would are needed to win the smartphone game (if that would are won the least bit, cf. Roiij, 2015). The logic underpinning this somewhat unreasonable notion is that the want for a quick and merciless response to the quickly rising competitive threat might are best achieved by hopping on established routinized technology management processes. Nokia’s history clearly demonstrates the sooner superiority of its technology management and products rollout processes. However, throughout the important chance window to beat the competition in 2007–2010, these processes were primarily broken.

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Our historical study reported during this article provides rise to some vital avenues for future analysis. First, Nokia is among several unsuccessful medium companies: Motorola, Ericsson, Sony, and plenty of of the pioneers of the Eighties conjointly born out of the competitive struggle. a clear topic for a comparative historical study would be to specialize in the anatomy of those failures. Second, and relatedly, the regimes of the consecutive CEOs Ollila, Kallasvuo, and Elop and their high management groups ought to be investigated additional thoroughly from the point of view of physical exercise strategic leadership. Additionally typically, the question of high management regimes as proof for organizational evolution would open vital theoretical and empirical avenues of analysis. Third, we have a tendency to hope that our work can be used as a sample of however oral historical strategies are employed in cases during which archives square measure either non-existent or non-accessible. This may well be of utmost worth in the future once huge digital archives become available; specifically, to be ready to use those archives (i.e. ‘ask the proper questions’), one would possibly initial ought to pursue oral historical strategies to form a sense of the organization (i.e. to be ready to ‘ask the proper questions’). This would possibly flip the method of oral history the other way up, as current method guides sometimes emphasize the necessity to acquaint oneself with the thing before starting interviews.


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