Those born, like me, in the 1980’s will remember a time when Nokia was at the forefront of mobile phone development. I remember yearning for one myself, instead of the horrible brick I was lumbered with; a sleek Nokia, phones that got gradually smaller during the 90’s and continued to amaze and delight with their new features. I distinctly remember sitting with friends and having someone bring out his new mobile – a tiny device the size of a box of matches. The size astonishes me to this very day, when mobiles have been caught for some time in an upward trend; bigger, again, but also infinitely more powerful.
But as the capabilities of the average phone have grown, Nokia’s once-wonderful name has dwindled into the background. And now, six months after its CEO admitted that Nokia was standing on ‘a burning platform,’ it’s time to look at whether Nokia has effectively lost out on the phone war at long last – or whether there is a way back into the running.
Nokia found its feet in the nineteenth century and has been going since before the advent of true telecommunications. Finnish in origin, it has seen steady growth and seemed to know when to zig or zag to stay just ahead of the market. A truly astonishing company seems now to have run out of the get up and go that once got it places its founders were undoubtedly incapable of imagining.
With Apple and Google taking over the platform wars with an eco-system, rather than the mere piece of kit Nokia is providing with its simple phones, the market is becoming difficult to keep up with without a sudden and difficult spurt of growth. Nokia is already behind its main competitors in this area and continues to fall further and further behind with each passing day.
The only realistic way for it to catch up and once again spearhead – or at least attend – the race for supremacy, would be by developing a smartphone system that is ahead of its peers at the time of release. Whether or not Nokia proves capable of providing this technical advancement is another question, and one we will have to wait for and see as and when it develops – or falls flat. Either way, whether Nokia falls by the wayside or pulls a sudden and massive growth spurt out of the hat, the era of Nokia’s reign as the ultimate mobile phone producer has definitely come to a close.