From market control to selling up in under 10 years - what went wrong for Finland's most cherished company, and why would Microsoft take it on?
Whenever you switched on a Nokia's handset, you would get the same thing: that famed signature logo - the holding hands.
This was what Nokia did best - carrying people across the rocky road of the mobile revolution, bit by bit.
In times before customisable backgrounds and adaptable operating systems, there were cool fascias that could be swapped. And, years before the word ‘app’ ever reached the lips of a generation, there was the game that dominated: Snake.
Nokia were certainly not the forebears to releasing a commercially obtainable mobile phone, but it was the first to do it especially well, and with an appeal that stoked the fire of the masses. Over the commencing short few years of incredible success, a sense of complacency had kicked in – a feeling that they could do no wrong. Big mistake.
The competition finally caught up and exploded through Nokia’s net in January 2007. Steve Jobs - perhaps even unbeknownst to him how momentous this unveiling would be - went up on stage, produced an iPhone out of his pocket and the world has never been quite the same since.
The fall for Nokia was sharp. Analyst firm Gartner crunched the figures, showing that Nokia's smartphone market share was a whopping 49.4% in 2007. In following years, it dipped to 43.7%, then 41.1%, and then 34.2%. The slippery slide to oblivion was well on the way.
It’s shocking to think that not that long ago, Blackberry had more than a 50% market share of smartphones. Now, the firm recently announced that it has decided to cease making its smartphones.
The company that presented the BlackBerry in 1998 turned into a $20 billion business from nowhere in under a decade. Then four years later, it had deflated to a $3 billion company, struggling to breath. It sums up the story of the unrelenting speed of the technology race today.
The release of the Blackberry 8800 series in late 2007 produced over 10 million subscribers around the world and hit its highest estimate value of £49 billion; the company was claimed to be the most valuable in all of Canada. So, where did it all go wrong for Blackberry? Why was one of the leading mobile giants in the world facing extinction?
The introduction of the iPhone in 2007 began the demise of the Blackberry smartphone. Blackberry couldn’t keep up with the revolutions and new tools announced by Apple and Google. Their eventual fall from grace was slow and brutal.
- The comeback?
More information has appeared about Nokia’s Android Phones recently too. Nokia will return in 2016 and will use Google’s Android platform. Reports suggest that the Nokia Android Phones will incorporate a QHD display, a metallic, uni-body design, as well as Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 CPUs.
This year, Nokia are aiming to announce two handsets inside Q4 — their flagship models — and also possibly a third, although this may be postponed until Q1 2017.
Two of the three handsets will be flagship grade, meaning top of the range specs and a ton of features. It will also mean a fairly large price tag. The third handset is anticipated to be a more mid-range proposition and will probably be doing battle with models such as the Wileyfox and Moto G4.
However, the future, looks a little different for Blackberry.
The Canadian firm has decided that it will change its focus to a strategy built around software development, including security and applications, and mobile device management (MDM), with the company set to outsource future handset production to its technology partners.
And this shift could offer a positive future for Blackberry after the company recently announced that it had more than doubled its year-on-year software revenues during the three months to the end of August 2016.