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Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The Nokia Story

The Nokia Story

Once upon a time, by the Nokianvirta river…

In 1865, mining engineer Fredrik Idestam sets up his
 first wood pulp 
mill at the TammerkoskiFredrik Idestam, founder of Nokia Ab Rapids in south-western Finland. A few years later he opens a second mill on the banks of the Nokianvirta river, which inspires him to name his company Nokia Ab in 1871. 
How apt that Nokia begins by making paper – one of the most influential communications technologies in history.

The galoshes revolution

A vintage ad for Nokia GaloscherOK, so it’s not exactly a revolution. But in 1898, Eduard Polón founds Finnish Rubber Works, which later becomes Nokia’s rubber business, making everything from galoshes to tyres.
Nokia rubber boots become a bona fide design classic, still on sale to this day – though we no longer make them.

Electronics go boom

In 1912, Arvid Wickström sets up Finnish Cable Works, the foundation of Nokia’s cable and electronics business.
A MikroMikko computerBy the 1960s, Finnish Cable Works – already working closely with Nokia Ab and Finnish Rubber Works – starts branching out into electronics. In 1962, it makes its first electronic device in-house: a pulse analyser for use in nuclear power plants.
In 1963, it starts developing radio telephones for the army and emergency services – Nokia’s first foray into telecommunications. In time, the company’s MikroMikko becomes the best known computer brand in Finland. And by 1987, Nokia is the third largest TV manufacturer in Europe.

Nokia logos past and present
Three become one

Having been jointly owned since 1922, Nokia Ab, Finnish Cable Works and Finnish Rubber Works officially merge in 1967. The new Nokia Corporation has five businesses: rubber, cable, forestry, electronics and power generation. But as the 1980s come into view, it’s an entirely new industry that makes Nokia a household name around the world.


Big hair, big shoulder pads, big phones

The Mobira Senator car phone, launched in 1982By the late 1970s and early 1980s it seems everything – from Tom Selleck’s moustache to JR Ewing’s list of enemies – is seriously big. And as the mobile communications revolution starts to gather momentum, the early handsets continue the trend.
The new Nokia Corporation is ideally placed to take a pioneering role in this new industry, leading the way with some iconic – and by today’s standards, very large – products.

The mobile era begins

Nokia sets the ball rolling in 1979, creating radio telephone company Mobira Oy as a joint venture with leading Finnish TV maker Salora. 1981 then sees the launch of the Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) service, the world’s first international cellular network and the first to allow international roaming.
The NMT standard catches on fast and the mobile phone industry begins to expand rapidly. In 1982, Nokia introduces the first car phone – the Mobira Senator – to the network. That same year, the Nokia DX200, the company’s first digital telephone switch, goes into operation.

Good enough for Gorbachev

The Mobira Cityman handheld mobile phone, launched in 1987In 1984, Nokia launches the Mobira Talkman portable car phone. Resembling a military field telephone, it’s a fairly cumbersome piece of kit – but it’s a start.
Then in 1987, Nokia introduces the Mobira Cityman, the first handheld mobile phone for NMT networks. Despite weighing in at 800 grams and a price tag of 24,000 Finnish Marks (around EUR 4,560), it goes on to become a classic. The Cityman even earns a nickname, the “Gorba”, after Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is pictured using one to make a call from Helsinki to his communications minister in Moscow.
Over the next decade, millions of consumers worldwide enjoy their very own Gorbachev moment as the mobile revolution takes hold.


The Mobile Revolution

GSM logoIn 1987, GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) is adopted as the European standard for digital mobile technology. With its high-quality voice calls, international roaming and support for text messages, GSM ignites a global mobile revolution.
As a key player in developing this new technology, Nokia is able to take full advantage.


The Nokia 1011, our first digital handheld GSM phone

A new direction


On July 1, 1991, Finnish Prime Minister Harri Holkeri makes the world’s first GSM call, using Nokia equipment. And in 1992, Nokia launches its first digital handheld GSM phone, the Nokia 1011.
That same year, new Nokia President and CEO Jorma Ollila makes a crucial strategic decision: to focus exclusively on manufacturing mobile phones and telecommunications systems. Nokia’s rubber, cable and consumer electronics divisions are gradually sold off.

Name that tune

The Nokia 2100 series, launched in 1994In 1994, Nokia launches the 2100 series, the first phones to feature the Nokia Tune ringtone. Based on Gran Vals, a classical guitar piece composed by Francisco Tarrega in the 19th century, it is probably one of the most frequently played pieces of music in the world. The Nokia 2100 series goes on to sell 20 million phones worldwide. Nokia’s target had been 400,000.
1994 also sees the world’s first satellite call, made using a Nokia GSM handset.
Hear Gran Vals, the inspiration for the Nokia Tune.
Listen now

Snake, the classic game which made its debut in 1997
Snake bites

In 1997, everybody knows their Snake high score. An instant classic, the addictive game is launched on the Nokia 6110 and by 2010 its successors are available on an estimated 350 million mobile phones.
Download Snake 3D for free

On top of the world

Between 1996 and 2001, Nokia’s turnover increases almost fivefoldBy 1998, Nokia is the world leader in mobile phones. The strategic decision to focus on telecommunications, plus early investment in GSM, has paid off. Between 1996 and 2001, Nokia’s turnover increases almost fivefold from EUR 6.5 billion to EUR 31 billion.
And with the new millennium comes a host of new possibilities as the internet goes mobile…


Phone calls are so last year…

As the new millennium dawns, everything changes. New technology enables the internet to go mobile, opening up a world of possibilities for mobile users. No longer are phones just for phone calls.

Multi-tasking mobiles

The Nokia 7110, launched in 1999In 1999, Nokia launches the Nokia 7110, a phone capable of rudimentary web-based functions, including email. Then in November 2001 Nokia launches its first phone with a built-in camera, the Nokia 7650, and in September 2002 its first video capture phone, the Nokia 3650.
However, it’s when Nokia launches its first 3G phone (third generation), the Nokia 6650, in 2002 that things really take off. With 3G technology, phones can now be used to browse the web, download music, watch TV on the move, and more.
Mobiles will never be the same again.

One billion and counting

The Nokia 1100 in a range of coloursIn 2005, Nokia sells its billionth phone – a Nokia 1100 – in Nigeria, and global mobile phone subscriptions pass 2 billion. Two years later, Nokia is recognised as the 5th most valued brand in the world.
Things have come a long way since Fredrik Idestam opened his paper mill.

Treading lightly

Nokia is committed to environmental and social sustainabilityFor years, Nokia has been working to make its business practices and products as environmentally and socially responsible as possible – from creating eco friendly handsets and establishing phone recycling schemes to bringing the benefits of mobility to emerging markets. This commitment to sustainability is recognised in a number of prestigious rankings. For example, in 2009 and 2010, the Dow Jones Indexes ranks Nokia as the world’s most sustainable technology company.
 In contrast, Nokia’s position in the mobile market faces its toughest challenge to date as competition intensifies in the burgeoning smartphone segment. Once again, the company’s    
                                                    ability to adapt is put to the test…


A new chapter begins

By 2010, having dominated the mobile world for over a decade, Nokia no longer has things all its own way. In the all-important smartphone market, competitors such as the iPhone and Android-based devices now pose a serious challenge. Clearly, it’s time for a rethink…
The good news is this is nothing new for Nokia. Adapting and transforming the business, finding innovative ideas and solutions, rolling up our sleeves and getting on with things: it’s in the company’s DNA.

A fresh face at the helm

Stephen Elop, Nokia President and CEOIn September 2010, Nokia appoints Stephen Elop as President and CEO. Formerly head of Microsoft’s business division, following roles at Juniper Networks and Adobe Systems Inc., Elop has a strong software background and proven record in change management.

In 2011, Nokia and Microsoft form a strategic partnership
A meeting of minds

In February 2011, Nokia announces it is joining forces with Microsoft to strengthen its position in the smartphone market. The strategic partnership sees Nokia smartphones adopting the new Windows 7 operating system, with the Symbian platform gradually being sidelined. The goal is to establish a third ecosystem to rival iOS and Android.
“The industry has shifted from a battle of devices to a war of 
                                                        Stephen Elop, President and CEO, Nokia


Let battle commence

Nokia launches its first Nokia with Windows phones, the Nokia Lumia 800 and the Nokia Lumia 710, in October 2011.


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