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Three reasons why Nokia failed

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With Samsung taking the cellphone crown from Nokia, we dig into possible reasons that led to downfall of the smartphone pioneer

BANGALORE, INDIA: There was a time when Nokia ruled, Samsung struggled and Apple was no where in the phone market. Now the roles are reversed and Nokia is struggling hard not be nowhere. 

Samsung has surpassed Nokia in cellphone sales, thereby ending Nokia’s 14-year rule as a leading handset maker, according to IHS iSuppli and Strategy Analytics. Nokia shipped 83 million handsets in Q1 2012, while Samsung shipped 92 million handsets. It's not just about those numbers. Standard & Poor has also downgraded Nokia’s bonds to a grade of BB+/B.

Nokia became the world's largest cellphone maker in 1998 when it overtook Motorola - at a time when Samsung had just entered the industry - and it controlled around 40 per cent of the market for years before Apple Inc's iPhone was unveiled in 2007.

"After 14 years as the largest global mobile phone maker, getting knocked off the top spot will come as a bitter blow to Nokia," says Ben Wood, head of research at CCS Insight, who has followed the industry since the 1990s.

But what's the reason behind Nokia's fall? Here are the possible things that went wrong with Nokia.

As a market leader for over a decade, Nokia didn't really plan for the future as it seemed a bit complacent with its products. When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, the first touch phone, Nokia was still priding in its E-series by when the definition of smartphone had undergone a tremendous change. That was least expected from the pioneer in the smartphone market.

The success of iPhone didn't have any significant impact on Nokia, unlike Samsung, which experimented with off-the-shelf technologies and managed a transition to smartphones much faster than expected. And Nokia, which had launched its first smartphones through its Symbian series 60 in 2002, remained a pioneer with no better future prospects. Nokia failed to anticipate, understand or organize itself to deal with the changing times.

While Samsung comes up with new phones almost every year with a slight modification from the previous launch, Nokia's Windows phone which came in 2011 lacked some basic technology essential to drive its sales. Nokia's Lumia series was launched with a bang, but didn't click. Reasons can be its design, which wasn't as attractive as Samsung phones or the iPhone. Today the sale of phones is dependent on how shiny or trendy it looks. Leave aside the looks, Nokia phones didn't have the front camera, which makes it not even 3G enabled. And we are on the threshold of entering the 4G era. So, Nokia's latest phones were feature ready, but not future ready.


Nokia was solely dependent on Symbian till it entered into a partnership with Microsoft recently. But its shift to Windows was considered a tad too late as by then Apple and Samsung had established their dominance. The operating system space was nearly occupied by Android and iOS leaving not much role for Windows. But that cannot be translated into a failed partnership. “Nokia and Microsoft are no weaklings, they do have assets. We believe that there is a good chemistry there with that partnership, and ultimately long-term Windows Phone will be successful,” Wayne Lam, IHS senior analyst, was quoted by Wired. Hence what's advisable for Nokia is to adopt multi-operating systems to make the most of all.

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tarun Sun Sep 1 at 02:50 PM

Nokia should go for android with good processor and ram ,then nokia will be no.1 again


sweety Sun May 26 at 08:19 AM

what's the writer's name ?


sweety Sun May 26 at 08:19 AM

what's the writer's name ?


pradeep Mon Dec 31 at 12:46 AM

Nokia Must think about innovatives that are very new to the current market ...... And can try by changing the fonts , thats like normal menu fonts that are more attractive than the. Apple or android

Apple is reported to be planning to introduce the tougher synthetic sapphire screen for its new iPhone.How much would you be willing to pay for it?

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