The fallen angel of mobile industry
My passion for tech and gadgets goes a long way. Ever since my father bought me a PC in the year 2000 I always had a thing or two for gadgets, whether it may be with troubleshooting them or purchasing the latest tech and dwelling in joy.
This series will drive through the past inventions and their failures, as to what went wrong and how quickly they didn’t react to CHANGE.
Let us begin, seat belts tight !
Everyone knows about Nokia. The once big smartphone giant that was a king maker in the mobile industry. Before putting its footprint into mobile phones, Nokia was into networking and communications. The company entered into the mobile industry with feature phones that were robust, portable and ease of use.
I still remember myself playing Snake game in my father’s Nokia 1100 and that was one hell of a joy. With feature devices selling like hotcakes, Nokia slowly started developing phones that had color displays and powerful under the hood. Devices like Nokia Xpress Music were a hit among the youth as it was funky and brought several useful features to the masses.
When Apple launched its first iPhone in 2007, everyone laughed at the new touch based interface and navigation. Little did Nokia know that it will be a major game changer in the smartphone industry.
Nokia acknowledged this market trend change and started making smartphones with touch screens, but there was the catch, their smartphones had resistive touch instead of capacitive touch screens which Apple iPhones were equipped with.
And the difference was like night and day.
Not only was this a bummer to Nokia, they also never cared about the OS platform (Symbian, meh..) and Apple had already started spending huge for it’s developer community and developers were building exclusive apps for iOS platform.
Nokia’s touch screen smartphones were running Symbian OS, an operating system for mobile phones developed by Symbian Ltd.
Symbian OS paved the way for other companies to copy cat ideas into their mobile OS.
My journey with Symbian during my college days was a time to cherish as i was using Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. It brought useful features such as home-screen layout, office tools and a good camera interface. Devices such as Nokia E and N series were so powerful and at the same time well ahead of their times.
In the meantime, Google was slowly ramping up its game by purchasing the open source mobile OS a.k.a. Android and also adding apps into it’s platform. Samsung, HTC and LG joined hands with Google and started releasing Android smartphones.
Nokia commits the first mistake.
Nokia smartphones had no proper software support behind its hood and was way behind the game. The company was still launching competitive devices to the market with very less Symbian developer community.
When things were about to go downhill, Microsoft which was already developing Windows Phone OS and licensing it to OEMs (of course they were also struggling in the smartphone market) was looking for a way to get into the hardware business and using its own OS for its devices.
Well this actually confirmed the demise of Nokia.
Microsoft’s eyesight turned to Nokia which was well known for its excellent hardware. A deal went through and finally Microsoft purchased Nokia’s hardware business with a plan to compete against Apple and Android devices.
Nokia Lumia series was released into the smartphone market with much fanfare. As with their previous devices, Lumia was one tough, good looking smartphone but with a bad OS – Windows Phone OS.
Don’t get me wrong.
Windows Phone OS looked very cool and was easy to use and navigate with the phone. But it still had one big problem – no compelling apps in its Windows store. Developers were flaking towards iOS and Android and were very less interested to develop an app for Windows mobile platform. Reasons such as less developer earnings, Microsoft’s stringent rules and less popularity of the OS made developers look the other direction.
The team behind Nokia during this bad time were actually thinking to choose Android and ditch Symbian. But that did not go through and finally it was a bad decision that they chose Windows Phone OS, at a time where Android was booming and Microsoft was struggling with its OS.
It became too late and as we all know now, Windows Phone is officially dead and Microsoft sold Nokia’s hardware business to HMD GLOBAL.
Here are my final thoughts.
One small mistake or reacting to a change very slow will cause huge damages in the tech industry. Nokia as a company was excellent in hardware but unable to adapt with the changes and by making drastic decisions, lead the way to their end.
Thanks for reading and I hope it was worth your time. See you guys in the next post.
(..sadly thinks of Nokia Pureview days)