When the Finns are down

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Nokia Windows Phone

It is no secret that Nokia, once leaders on the mobile front, are going through tough times. The single horse they were betting on, the Lumia range, is not moving as fast as they would have wanted. Granted, Nokia has always made great devices but it is an open secret that the one problem that they have not been able to conquer is staying relevant in the fast paced mobile arena.

Now they are paying the ultimate price. Replicating the run-away success of the Symbian platform is a seemingly overwhelming task for them. Though Nokia is still very much present in Nigeria and a number of third world countries, they have not been able to compete favourably in the developed world.

Their refusal to subsidise phones coupled with the bad press and reviews that most bloggers and magazines tend to give Nokia phones in America along with their sluggishness in replying to iPhone and Android effectively terminated their share in the American market.

Even in Nigeria, Chinese phone makers a.k.a phones have also eaten much into the share that they hold on budget devices. These Chinese cloned phones offer dual sim capacity, music player and memory card support all into a phone that costs almost 1/3rd of a Nokia device that lacks as much feature but costs three times as much.

Nokia recently began producing and marketing devices that are capable of what all these cloned phones offer but it may be too little too late as these “chinko” phones have relatively bitten a huge chunk out of Nokia’s dominance on the budget phone market in Nigeria.

Another company that is ruling the mobile space, Apple, also went through similar challenges and they have bounced back and are holding their ground.

Do you think that Nokia is going to bounce back or do you think that they are going to go the way of photography giants Kodak who filed for bankruptcy?


  1. I feel woke up from their slumber late…. if ever they wanted to ditch Symbian, this would have been initiated long ago….. symbian was competing favourably with Android and IOS… probably a few tweaks was all they needed on that platform…
    Now the windows platform wasn’t helping matters cos of its market position…
    Nokia would have done far better if they had Android running on it.
    I also feel there are great prospects for Nokia with the Windows Phone 8 platform coming out… infact I see Samsung and Nokia topping sales. if packaged well, that platform would compete favourably with Android and IOS.

  2. The worst mistake they made was announcing that they were dumping symbian, even when the replacement was not ready. They committed suicide by so doing.

  3. Lets stop using nigeria as a case study. Symbian was dead long the choose windows, you might ask why? Its simply because symbian never sold well in the US and europe(Markets which give the highest profit margin) so nokia had to jump ship. Symbian might have sold in nigeria but how many nigerians can spend tens of thousands of naira on a phone when trying to survive on less than a dollar a day? Even the nokia belle refused to win hearts of people in developed countries that can comfortably speend $600 on a phone with no stress. Lets face it, the population in the country alone cannot make nokia’s account turn black, reason being that the profit margin from feature phones is too small.
    Nokia did what they deemed best and will just have to bear the pains. Lets face it, if you really want to make profit of billions you have to conqure the western world. After all nokia is not a charity organisation and will therefore put profit first.

  4. Mark,

    Lets stop using nigeria as a case study. Symbian was dead long the choose windows, you might ask why? Its simply because symbian never sold well in the US and europe(Markets which give the highest profit margin) so nokia had to jump ship.

    Mark, you’ve got your mobile history and facts all wrong. Symbian owned 40% of the global (not Nigerian) smartphone marketshare for almost a 10-year period.

    It was the number one sellling smartphone platform on every continent and in every region, with the exception of only North America, all that time.

    That means Symbian ruled unchallenged in Europe, Asia, Middle East, Australasia, and South America. Even in the unique Japanese market, Symbian ruled absolutely.

    Yes; Symbian’s time is up now, but facts are facts.

  5. @Mark – rightly said, Nokia originally sold in America in it’s early days but of recent they have flopped continuosly because of failure to subsidize their phones.

  6. @Mister Mobility, Thanks for the facts. The issue now is, what on earth happend that made nokia fall so low even after being the leader for 10years? I guess the saying that goes ‘its difficult to build a house but easy to destroy it’ is true. I mean it only took about 3-5years to destroy what nokia built in 10years. Well nothing lasts forever i guess.

  7. Mark,

    How many years did it take to build the Roman Empire, and how many years did it take for it to fall apart? And the Germany war machine of the 2nd world war? And the British Empire?

    That’s just the way the cookie crumbles many times.

  8. I feel Nokia should have invested in as many OS options as possible. They could have adopted WP7, AND still continue to support Symbian and Meego. Isn’t that what Samsung did by investing in Android, WP7 and Bada, despite dumping Symbian.

    And I really would have preferred if Nokia had joined the Android train rather than WP7. Just my personal opinion, mind you. I’m no expert in the politics and understandings of the mobile OS universe.

  9. Its hard to ignore the fact that Nokia should have considered Android too.

    But I really think Nokia needs to ensure that WPhones can do all that a Symbian can do if they want to succeed, its great that Elop is thinking about that…

    They should compete in house and win before heading out.

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