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Do Nokia need another Marissa Mayer? Alot of this kind of questions would have been asked in the headquarters of Nokia, but will one Marissa Mayer be enough to re-position a company that looks like a titanic without a captain? Perhaps, the answer to the latter might not come easily without first trying to decipher what went wrong.
Nokia spent millions of dollars in the late 1990s, they saw the future of mobile phones and were equally poised to dominating it for eternity. Unfortunately, we are only in 2013, far from eternity and Nokia seems to have taken 10-steps backwards with every decision taken to make an impact in the race for the smartphone crown which Apple and Samsung have got locked-down. (The unlock-key is probably 20,000 feet below the Atlantic Ocean).
The Mobile phone giant foresaw this day; it is unlikely to think that they didn’t. Unluckily, the response by Nokia to the current technological trend has failed to take the company forward. These four costly mistakes by Nokia would prove to be the reasons why Nokia hasn’t made a dent in the world of smartphones.
4. Ignored The Market
In 1998, Nokia over threw Motorola as the World’s biggest mobile phone vendor, from that moment, Nokia never looked-back and went on to retain that crown for another 14-years. Fast-forward to 2013 and the whole scenario has changed, Nokia no longer has that prestigious crown, it has been toppled by Samsung.
Nokia’s inability to make custom phones for the U.S market didn’t win itself many allies among the local carriers; this lead to a further decline in it’s market share. While other companies made friends in the US, Nokia was too conformable with the pride of being the World’s largest phone maker. It had loyal fans in Africa and other European countries and when these fans decided to jump camps, it spelt the beginning of doom for the multi-billion dollar company.
In the Smartphone market share, Nokia seems to be lost as Samsung, Apple have shown total dominance. Sony with it’s recent restructuring which saw the acquisition of Ericsson have seen them in contention for a larger market share while HTC, LG and Blackberry also show decent improvement in market share. Sony’s Xperia Z seems to be attracting a lot of Android users and as such, it might be too early to declare Samsung the undisputed winner.
3. Ignored The Threat Of The iPhone
When the iPhone first launched in 2007, it sent shock-waves through-out the industry. It was a landmark achievement by Apple, seeing the massive leap from what the conventional Windows Mobile, Symbian and Palm OS had to offer.
Nokia was particularly blind to the threat of the iPhone. They saw the iPhone as an expensive piece of gadget that would not stand the test of time. Nokia was still in its comfort zone relishing the undisputed fact of being the World’s mobile phone leader.
No doubt, the original iPhone was extremely expensive, but it soon became a mainstream gadget once Apple strucked a deal with AT&T; which saw the price fall to as low as $200. From that moment, every iPhone released has sold in millions. Lunch dates of any iPhone looks like a carnival as the streets of Major retailers is filled with people hoping to get their hands the device. The introduction of App Store tied consumers into a world of apps that worked on only the iOS. This cemented the dominance of iPhone and gave other cell phone makers a reason feel the heat.
2. Not Dumping Symbian
Nokia owns the Symbian OS and it can explain why they sticked with the OS for so long. In 2007 when the original iPhone was released, it showed the weakness of the Symbian OS. Infact, Nokia’s Symbian OS was dated once the iPhone hit the store-shelves.
It only became worse when Google’s mobile operating system; Android was released. Android was cross-platform and gave other phone manufacturers a new bound-less mobile operating system to work on. Enabling them to compete against the iPhone, Nokia again gave it a blindshot.
Also Read: R.I.P Symbian OS
Symbian OS still had enough juice, Nokia would have taught. That is a genuine thought, but Nokia’s loyal fanbase thought otherwise. They have seen the age of the Symbian OS and were already jumping camps. Nokia only needed to act but they didn’t, even Motorola which was lost in the Mobile Phone industry found light once it adopted the Android operating system.
Immediately Verizon saw the events, they too gave the Android OS a major push in reaction to counter AT&T;’s iPhone. HTC was quick to adopt Android and saw an immediate benefit. Samsung and LG followed more slowly, and then Sony but in a big way.
1. Choosing Windows Over Android
Nokia finally decided to dump the Symbian OS as their plans to create a new smartphone OS that would be distributed as an open-source was an utter disaster. That OS was Maemo and ran on the Linux platform.
Nokia wanted something entirely new, something hot and decided to stick with Intel’s Linux-based operating system – Moblin. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned, Mobiln was later merged with MeeGo which caused further delays.
Related Article: How Microsoft Can Help Nokia Win The SmartPhone War
After several delays, Nokia opted for the Windows mobile OS, subsequently making it their primary platform. Nokia have since released several smartphones including the popular N9 and the Lumia line of smartphones.
None of these have had the wow factor. Seem pretty clear that most of world’s mobile users are only interested in iOS and Android.
Imagine where Nokia would have been if it had choosen the Android operating system.