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The Rise and Fall of Nokia
Startup 101

The Rise and Fall of Nokia 

okia was once thought of as a brand leading the digital revolution. It rose exponentially and became one of the world’s most prominent widely recognized and valuable brands.

We all heard about Nokia success story. Its dominance over the smartphone industry is also inferred by the very fact that it had an industry share of over 40 percent worldwide. Nokia rise and fall become a  case study right now.

The Rise and Fall of Nokia

Although its rise to the highest level was swift, Nokia’s descent was likewise so. Today we will discuss some aspects of why Nokia had failed as a smartphone company. The rise and fall of Nokia.

Why Nokia Has Failed?

Why did Nokia fail? – It was a hard pill to swallow. But with tons of lessons on how to stabilize your business that you could easily consider granted just like the giant Nokia. Once people, around the world, considered Nokia for being the king of phones.

With the evolution of mobile technology begins, it lost its reputation. In this article, we don’t base our dialogue solely on how and why Nokia failed. It will also show you some simple ways that Nokia neglected to attain their company.

What the Apple brand is today, Nokia was the foremost valuable phone brand before it. It takes tons to urge to the highest but it takes more to remain at the highest. The mobile industry that was once pioneered by Blackberry belongs to iPhone.

Studying the market disruption within the market, we found six major reasons behind Nokia’s failure. Equivalent reasons that brought the blackberry brand down and other top brands. These are the business mistakes behind Nokia’s failure in the following:

  1. Complacency:

It’s easy to feel relaxed once you are dominating the market. The market should have healthy competition, rather than a monopoly. This is what makes a brand ruthless in its dominance over others. The forces of demand and provide complacency controls in an open market. Eventually, it will become your biggest enemy.

The best way to summarize the open market is that it is sort of a jungle. Here the lion wakes up knowing if it needs to eat it must outrun the fastest Gazelle. Therefore, on the other hand, the Gazelle wakes up knowing that if to survive, it might need to outrun the fastest lion.

Regardless of your position in the market and the way much of the market share in your hand, the lesson applies the same. If you want to understand how your business somewhere and somehow will come to an end, start planning to disrupt and make your mark.

In reality, it doesn’t matter whether you’re enjoying a monopoly or not. Nokia failed to understand this in the long run. The moment you have reached the peak, you need to start leading with innovations that will make obstacles for a new entry.

  1. Nokia Didn’t Have Foresight:

Failure to acknowledge the unknown future ahead is another reason why Nokia failed. They were more curious about building an ecosystem within the market.

They made collaboration within their mainstream platform when Nokia reached to the highest. It is a bit like what Google had successfully done, through their android ecosystem.

Although their moves were correct and wise, the platform was a big mess. This is often like building a huge structure on a sinking soil. They couldn’t see it that the age of Java mobile apps was just phasing out.

This is often like climbing a ladder leaning on the incorrect wall. Their whole ecosystem collapsed, once the platform was phased out by other competitors.

It is going forward in the right direction and that’s important. Only going forward isn’t enough in business. The speed is less important than the direction you are going. Before accelerating with speed, get your compass right.

  1. Wrong Partnership:

There were some solid and logical reasons for Nokia to partner with tech-giant, Microsoft. They joined the leading OS when it involves computers. They thought – people might surely like it on phones if they had loved it on computers. Nokia failed miserably due to this singular assumption and its contribution.

A wrong partnership kills any business like nothing else. IOS phones were different than Windows phones. What are the key differences between these? Market acceptance, it is.

Customers believe while buying an Apple product that they are buying something innovative. Despite paying more than normal prices, they were buying prestige, quality, and love. Nokia started recovering alongside gaining freedom from this partnership.

  1. Strategic Plans For Fast Followers:

The Strategic Decisions That Caused Nokia’s Failure are- Although the strategy of first moving pays off a lot though, it is not without its own disadvantages. As we wrote in our previous article on this plan that is a secret behind many businesses.

In the past, Nokia had reaped big benefits from this type of first-mover plans. But due to disruption happening within the industry, they stumbled. The minimum effort they could have done was to follow fast on the new market leaders.

The first to penetrate a market will be the champion. The first to start out an innovation or the first to introduce something new to the market can create a completely new market atmosphere.

Why Nokia did not apply this? Their strategy was just to repeat what others do and therefore making it better or taking it to a position it’s never been. Simply due to a scarcity of finance and technical sides for fast change, led to a failed partnership with Microsoft.

  1. Rise Of The Chinese Mobile Market:

Chinese brands started producing more and more mobile phones at an unbeatable speed. Once a Nokia spokesperson said that Chinese people make phones quicker then we make tons of our new idea. This made the competition tougher for Nokia. It is another reason for falling of Nokia.

  1. Picking The Unworthy  CEO:

No one can deny the skill set of Stephen Elop but sometimes, having a well-liked and skilled person isn’t enough to rework a corporation. Elop did realize the difficulties Nokia was facing and he took some big decisions but it all led to vain.

Lessons for the entrepreneurs:

In business, be flexible enough to form changes. The biggest lessons for any new business – grow big but remain small enough to apply changes when needed. They say “A rolling stone gathers no moss.”

The same goes for big businesses. They lack the speed of the plan and its execution. It is due to the communication gaps within the management ladder, from top-level managers to lower-level managers.

Be sufficiently small to be fast in making changes. Small businesses can disrupt the market before big businesses realize what’s happening. This is often one of the explanations. Failure to navigate was the reason why Nokia had failed.

The lesson for you – not every partnership is necessary for business. Always consider partnerships that support the strengths and weaknesses of your company.

It can bring back your business opportunities or threats. Only depending on ideas is not enough to survive. In pivoting a business, data-based decisions are more important.

Their Recent Comeback

So, Is Nokia dead? Currently, Nokia is far from dead and has since made a fantastic comeback under the ownership of HMD Global, which acquired Nokia’s exclusive license rights in2017.

Worldwide sales have risen, with HMD Global shipping 4,8 million Nokia smartphones ithe second quarter of 2019 alone – 20 higher than in the last year. While their market share is still below that of giants such as Apple and Samsung, for just a couple of years they have gone from virtually zero to 1.3%.

The rising story of Nokia was inspiring for all. So What is the future of Nokia? how has Nokia made such a powerful comeback? The solution lies in HMD Global recognizing consumer wants and wishes while filling gaps within the smartphone market. Maurizio Angelone, vice chairman, and head, Americas, HMD Global HMD states that Nokia is,

“Are responding to existing gaps within the U.S. value and mid-range smartphone segments, where quite a 3rd of consumers are already purchasing.”



As a result of current political battles and therefore the criticism, China is getting over its trade policies and its connections to COVID-19, telecom providers around the world appear increasingly bent building networks without using Huawei equipment.

Read More: Why Kodak Failed?|Learning From Kodak’s Failure

This opens a new door to sell more products in these markets. We hope to see Nokia in its original position.

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