The greatest achievement of humanity is not its works of art, science, or technology, but the recognition of its own dysfunction.
Nokia, not just a brand but a company which touched hearts of millions by selling the quality mobile handsets. The first mobile phone I saw was Nokia 3315, a rock solid usually called “Brick” was an amazing phone. It was the time when for all the people meaning of phone and Nokia were same.
Connecting people, is somewhat like the Microsoft vision of giving everyone a personal computer. And while there are people in certain parts of the 3rd world that doesn’t have mobile phones, I would say Nokia did an amazing job to get a mobile phone into everyone’s hands.
As per techillicious columnist Rajiv Makhni, The newly appointed CEO Stephen Elop was planted in Nokia by Microsoft as a Trojan Horse to destroy the company and buy it out. Nokia was a company that was already starting to falter when Elop came on board. What else could the company have done to survive? Their options seem limited from what we know about the marketplace. They could have release an android phone, but then they just would have been fighting for a piece of the pie that Samsung, Moto, and other phone makers are eating. They could have stayed with their phone OS and probably would have had just about the same fate as picking up Windows Mobile.
When Elop came in as Nokia CEO, Nokia was Number 1 in smartphones sales. In fact, it was Number 1 by a wide margin. Samsung lagged far behind. Nokia was selling about 10 million smartphones a month, more than twice as compared to others.
During Elop’s tenure, Nokia annual revenues fell 40% from 41 Billion Euros per year to 25 Billion Euros per year. Nokia profits fell 92% from 2.4 Billion Euros per year to 188 Million Euros per year. Nokia handset sales fell 40% from 456 million units per year to 274 million units per year. Nokia share price which was at 7.12 Euros on the day Elop was hired, had fallen to 81% to a bottom level of 1.44 Euros two years later, after which it began trading at 4.14 Euros, up 36% on the day. Elop’s success in negotiating the sale of Nokia’s struggling mobile device business to Microsoft has been described by many securities analysts as a significant victory for NOK shareholders, particularly when viewed in context of failed efforts by Blackberry or HP to secure value for handset business owned by those companies.
I saw few lines on Nokia which I read few years back. These line describe’s the love of people for their favorite brand.
Playing snake until the death,
While some create ringtones,
It was an unbreakable phone,
I’ll remember till my last breath.
This is a company loved by all, a brand that evokes a warm feeling of joy and comfort, a brand that is identified with starting the entire mobile phone revolution. More competition is always a good thing but for Nokia it became tough to fight for its existence. The Nokia story will always remind us of how quickly even large companies can die in today’s world. They didn’t even see it coming.
There is always a last time for everything.