In 2014 Microsoft took over Nokia and the Nokia name was removed from its devices altogether. Things changed with the rise of the smartphone, and in particular the launch of Apple’s iPhone in 2007. The disruptor had got disrupted.
Mika Grundstrom, a former senior manager at Nokia’s R&D site in Tampere is quoted as stating, “Things became much more complex. We were not so sure anymore what we should actually target. Is it ease of use, is it battery life, is it size?”.
The answer for future Nokia’s in the making is here. Customers look for value.
Value = Benefit – Cost
The mistake that Nokia made may have been, looking at isolated features and trying to beat the daylights out of each of them. Every device making company’s bane. More of a good thing can only take you to some length. Beyond that you’d have to proactively disrupt your own product lines or uncover a new need segment, if you have to stay in business. This is mainly true for device manufacturers.
“If you think about the battery life – we had devices that could last for a week. Then you have this new device, it’s excellent but you need to charge it every day. Ok so how do you actually sell that to the customer?” Sounds like one clueless state.
Value = Benefit – Cost
Here’s what was happening, that had Nokia played its game to win, they could well have continued to be in market as a leader and not yielded to Samsung:
On November 5, 2007, the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of technology companies including Google, device manufacturers such as HTC, Sony and Samsung, wireless carriers such as Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile, and chipset makers such as Qualcomm and Texas Instruments, unveiled itself, with a goal to develop open standards for mobile devices. That day, Android was unveiled as its first product, a mobile device platform built on the Linux kernel. The first commercially available smartphone running Android was theHTC Dream, released on October 22, 2008.
Nokia was nowhere in the picture. What rice bowl were they to trying to protect? Symbian? That 2008 smartphone could have had a Nokia brand.
- Why could Nokia not have evolved into an Android based market leader, a status that Samsung seems to be achieving from a non-existent player.
- What foresight was missing
- What strategy went wrong (not to use open source OS?)
- What prevented Nokia from joining the consortium
Nokia played catch-up in the smartphone market until 2014 and never recovered. Thank you Nokia. It was good at your time. RIP.