With Nokia Planning to comeback into the industry in 2017, let’s talk about why they went underground in the first place.
If you were asked what happened to Nokia, you’ll probably say they failed cos they refused to use android or android drowned them
It All Started In 2011
Ok pause II, let’s do some background check first.
The Evolution Of The Modern Smartphone
In 2007 Apple announced the iPhone. Which was the game changer for the mobile phone industry. The whole industry felt the need to make an “iPhone”, but what they needed the most was an OS that could rival IOS, and since apple did not share theirs as IOS can be licensed to be used by 3rd parties, each company had to start building their own OS from scratch. However Symbian and windows mobile where smartphone OS that existed before then, but they were not smart enough for apple new IOS on the iPhone. Then came google to the rescue in 2008 with Android OS. Normally these company would had ignored Android, but to build a new OS could take years and Android was Open Source, meaning instead of each company building a new OS, they could just take Android source code and edit it to work for their own phone like it was their own OS. Of course every phone company who needed market share bought this idea except the two giants then …….. Blackberry and Nokia. These company knew that if they went with android, they would be classified as the same phone and put in the same market as every other Android device. Blackberry thought they could develop their already existing blackberry OS to be as smart as IOS and Android but later built their own OS from scratch to produce Blackberry 10 OS. While Nokia also kept developing Symbain to compete with the competition, they also went ahead to build a new OS, not looking at how long it might take. The OS Nokia was developing was called MEEGO OS. Announced in 2011.
In the Year 2011
Most of you reading this now were still using, or dreaming of buying a blackberry that year. Except those that were using Nokia E7 or N8. Or Sony Ericsson androids, or HTC, or the iPhone 3. Me? I was using one small Nokia 6230i (the phone Otedola uses) I was always reading RSS feeds from tech sites with snaptu following apple/Samsung law suits. That’s what caught my interest into the phone world. Anyway. I did not know anything about history of iPhone, android or Nokia then but one thing I remember is I really like the Nokia N9 when it was released.
What is Nokia N9? It is a phone released on the 21st of June 2011 running Meego OS. MeeGo was a open source Linux distribution hosted by the Linux Foundation, using source code from the operating systems Moblin (produced by Intel) and Maemo (produced by Nokia). I’m sure you know what intel is. Nokia N9 was actually an extremely Good flagship smartphone at the year it was released, it’s was like the galaxy s7 of 2016. It was so good many people liked it. Infact I bought the clone since I couldn’t afford the original. Although amount of sales was not disclosed by Nokia, many Nokia fans really liked the Nokia N9 and many bought it, the swipe, first phone ever with no buttons except volume and power, and it had positive reviews online too. But most reviews did not recommend that you buy one.. Want to know why?
The N9 was announced only four months after partnering with Microsoft to use Windows Phone 7 as the flagship operating system to replace Symbian. At the time Nokia’s flagship device was the Symbian-based N8. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said that the N9 will be the first and last MeeGo device from the company, something that MeeGo fans already felt before the N9 announcement due to the Microsoft deal. This move Infact made a lot of fans really sad. I personally heard about the deal way after N9 was released. Recently found out that some fans responded by creating a petition “We want Nokia to keep MeeGo”. But Stephen Elop restated that the company will not be continuing development of MeeGo even if the N9 would be a success, focusing solely on the future Lumia series.
I believe Nokia N9 and Meego OS was indeed the combination Nokia needed to battle Apple IPhone and Google along with it’s companies using Android. At the year N9 was released, there was still hope for Meego as even IOS and android had not been developed good enough to what we have today. In 2011 Meego was a better competitor to android and iOS than Windows is to android and iOS today. If Nokia continued to develop Meego, it would had been just as good as android and IOS today. Even looking at how far Windows Phone has come, and to think that Meego was first released way before Windows Phone 7.
So why would Nokia led by Stephen elop take a decision like this? I personally think it’s because it added something personal to himself, my guess is wealth….. You should also know that Stephen elop just became Nokia CEO in 2010. So no! He was not the one heading Nokia when Nokia was on top of the world. Maybe he was just a bad CEO.
This was Stephen elop idea and decision only cos even after Nokia went with Windows Phone, the directors and core professionals from Nokia’s N9 team and other staffs of Nokia left the company and together formed Jolla, to bring MeeGo back into the market mainstream. This effort eventually resulted in the creation of the Sailfish OS. The Sailfish OS has not been much of a success because this time it is being developed by a small team of developers unlike android which is being developed by a large company.
Also INTEL expressed their disbelief and disappointment at elop decision. They later went ahead and collaborated with Samsung to create Tizen OS. Today, Tizen OS is the fourth most used mobile operating system ahead of BlackBerry OS but behind windows phone.
Meanwhile as you would guess, Nokia Lumia did not do so well, the first sets of Lumia had very poor reviews and Nokia lost millions of dollars. It was not android fault neither was it rocket science to know Nokia was going all the way down!
In my honest opinion, it was all Stephen elop fault!
But I’m not the only one that thinks that way. Wikipedia quote “Elop was criticised for this move, which has been said by some to have contributed to the company’s demise in the smartphone market.”
Also I remember reading comments on Phonarena then, where readers and fans would call out Stephen elop and blame him for everything.
Well…In September 2012 Nokia announced the Lumia 920 and in 2013 Lumia 520 then Lumia 925 then Lumia 1020 which was the first Lumia phones to actually return profits for Nokia. Although sales of the Lumia line had exceeded those of BlackBerry in the same period, Nokia still made an operating loss of €115m, with revenues falling 24% to €5.7bn following the second quarter of 2013. Over the past nine quarters, Nokia sustained €4.1 billion worth of operating losses.
On 3 September 2013, Microsoft announced its intent to acquire Nokia’s mobile phone business (including rights to the Lumia and low-end Asha brands) in an overall deal totaling at over US$7 bn. Stephen Elop stepped down as Nokia’s CEO and re-join Microsoft as its head of devices as part of the deal, which closed in early 2014.
Nokia agreed not to use its name on smartphones and will be subject to a non-compete clause preventing it from producing any mobile devices under the Nokia name through 31 December 2015. But released a Nokia N1 tablet running android lollipop on 18 November 2014. Which was built by Foxconn for the brand Nokia. Foxconn is also the company that builds the iPhone.
In 2016…. Microsoft Mobile sold the rights to use the Nokia brand to a newly formed Finnish consortium, HMD Global, and these guys recently hired the largest independent advertising firm in the UK to (nudge, wink) market upcoming Nokia phones. This phone would run android and the sort of the most anticipated phones of 2017. Yes I said phones cos we could see about 7 devices.
And a lot of people are saying Nokia is back? weeelllll………..
What do you think about everything I’ve said here? Let me know
Written by Karo for Phoneplanet.