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The Nokia Case: fall and rise
May 16, 2022 12:20:00 PM5 min read

The Nokia Case: fall and rise

Multinationals are not always a guarantee of permanent success, even though they are considered indestructible over time and avant-garde in terms of technological innovations.

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This is the case of what happened a few years ago with the Finnish telecommunications company Nokia, which by not adapting to the most ambitious change in mobile telephony (the smartphone) lost its followers and their phones resoundingly, which could do nothing against the competition and were forgotten.

Although over time, Nokia managed to recover from that fall by finally adapting to the demand of the market and of demanding users by incorporating the Android operating system, it took several years behind the shadows to be able to achieve it, until just two or three years ago its incipient rise was noted with the launch of the first smartphones that still retain the distinctive mark of strength and durability that catapulted the brand.

In this article, we tell you all the details of the fall and rise of Nokia, the company that was once the market leader and today retains a discreet place alongside leading companies such as Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, and Huawei.


Story of a fall and rise.

It all started when in 2007, even when Nokia was still leading the world cell phone market, the first iPhone smartphone was launched, led by the prestigious Apple, which was here not only to stay but to unseat the Finnish giant that was beginning to sense its decline.

Faced with the stark prospect of an increasingly demanding market that fed unattainable competitors, the company decided to join forces with Microsoft to be able to deal with the operating systems that were already prevalent at that time.

But unfortunately, it became aware of this reality late because, like many companies with a long history, it resisted change. However, it attempted.

In 2011, Nokia launched the Nokia N9, running the MeeGo operating system. Then it also presented the first terminals of the Asha series, but clearly, the Finnish giant was looking to bet stronger as soon as it realized that they were losing to other competitors who had already launched more advanced phones than the N and the Asha.

Examples of this unequal competition were the Android devices that Samsung and Sony Ericsson were already launching to capture the desire of users with a growing market share.

It was then, in that same year, Nokia established a strategic alliance with Microsoft so that all the company's smartphones would incorporate the Windows Phone operating system, leaving aside MeeGo and Symbian, except in the most basic models. Two years later, in 2013, Microsoft announced the purchase of mobile devices and the licensing of Nokia patents in a global agreement.

From this strategic alliance, the Nokia Lumia series of smartphones was born, which had the Windows Phone operating system. But despite all the efforts between the two multinationals, the Nokia Lumia failed to charm consumers because the competition led by IOS and Android left them no room for maneuver.

So, finally, in 2014, Microsoft decided to stop the production of Windows Phones Lumia, once it understood that there was no point in fighting against operating systems that were easier to use, faster, and more efficient for users. Consequently, he announced the latest public version of Windows Phone 8.1.


The bet on Android.

Due to Nokia's extensive history in the mobile phone market, it was not easy to overcome old preconceptions concerning preserving a certain distinctive brand of producing resistant phones made of hard materials and with classic keys.

That is why they fell behind and did not see the flood of Android and IOS coming, which was installed among people to erase from their memory any remnants of experience with that obsolete technology for the new digital age.

10 years have passed since the checkmate that iPhone and Android did to the proud Nokia. Ten years of bad decisions, of which the alliance with Microsoft was the worst of all. However, there was still a glimmer of hope in this path of darkness into which the Finnish giant had plunged. There was still the part that Microsoft had not bought, and that was its salvation.

Satya Nadella, the new CEO of Nokia at that time (2015), did something very practical to give the Finnish company back the prestige it once had: he demolished everything that Microsoft had built since it bought it, leaving almost not a single vestige of that failed alliance. He had understood that if he wanted to re-emerge as a brand and recover lost market share, he had to do something different, not dig through the rubble.

In this way, he made the best decision he could to win back the public that had abandoned him: surrender to Android. And far from seeming like a risky act, it was the best decision because he played it safe. Android then became the answer that the company needed to resurface and be competitive again, and in 2017 the firm, together with HMD, launched the Nokia 6, the first mid-range smartphone that incorporates Android as an operating system.

Although at first it was only launched in the Chinese market, it meant the company's most anticipated return to the cell phone market. And it was not bad at all because the terminal was renewed in increasingly advanced devices.


Nokia forever.

This story teaches us that no multinational company is guaranteed success if the right decisions are not made to stay updated, which was precisely what Anssi Vanjoki, the company's CEO during the early days of Android, did not do, expecting to be successful without betting on change.

Then the desperation not to go bankrupt drives the company to ally with Microsoft - the worst of decisions - and launch very interesting phones but not what consumers wanted after flirting with Android and Apple, which shows that they made a failed market study for uselessly believing that their buyer persona would continue to buy small phones with keys or poor imitations of smartphones without WhatsApp or an application store to download for free and unlimitedly.

But as failures teach us to reinvent ourselves and improve, fortunately, Nokia reinvented itself when it decided to maintain its design and resistant materials to take advantage of Android to create very powerful phones that are gradually climbing positions in the market. And it's still Nokia, its quality phone essence was not diluted by Microsoft's handling.

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In final words, this was the story of the fall and rise of Nokia, a multinational that had everything to be the best indefinitely, but bad decisions precipitated its failure just when the competition adopted Android to sink it further. But thinking about customers was what saved it because customers wanted Nokia with Android, and now they finally have it.


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