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Lessons from the Nokia debacle

Why such a drastic downfall of Nokia even after its consistent stellar show in the market? Perhaps the answer in its blatant form is lack of dynamism, creativity and innovation.

Nokia had cemented their position in the market, but the tendency to ignore the mammoth competition in the market has also fueled their inevitable process of decay.

There are plenty of such examples that identify the ruthless ambition of the individuals or companies or groups for their transformation from the leader into a straggler despite their innate potential. The history has got a classical example of the dwindling Motor City, Detroit. The elaboration is redundant.

Nokia had been the prime market leader in the domain of cellular phone. Their prompt reaction to switch over to the sleek models awarded them a new lease of life, while some others had been found to totter in that contemporary time frame. The name of Siemens may only be recalled faintly now. Even Alkatel is practically non-existent in today’s market.

Nokia’s mind boggling features and exceptional customer services had fostered their enormous growth. They had captured even more than 35% market share in mobile phone regime. Perhaps they had taken the market for granted, which had paved the way for Samsung or LG or ZTE or Google phones including the classified ranges of products of Apple. Even the newly promising company Micromax has shown talents to advance well. Perhaps the confidence of a cemented market share had eluded Nokia from an accurate survey of its competition at hand.

It is often said that even if there is no competitor the brand has to develop a culture to compete with its inner self.

Nokia perhaps forgot such fundamental marketing theories and they have been facing the consequences today, which have become full of sarcasm.

They have witnessed their leading brand to almost hit a rock bottom situation; as a result, they are to hold hands of Microsoft as their survival tonic. It is really an exhibition of impudence of their think tank that they could not drive the brand forward. Even the employees and managers could not demonstrate proper discipline and commitment, which always play pivotal roles in deciding the fate of any company irrespective of its size and scale of operations.

Certain Questions become highly pertinent.

  • Why should the people go for Nokia phones, when most of them consciously avoid the most popular Android platform?
  • Does the phone provide adequate security through software locking?
  • Are their prices competitive?
  • Why did they take so long to launch smart phones?
  • Do the phones provide trendy features?
  • Why did Nokia fail to create a connection with some OS suppliers to offer the features as per the rising demands of today’s users?

We have conducted an interesting comparison from a reputed online portal. The comparison between the features of mobile phones in a similar price range may sound astonishing.

While Samsung offers Andorid v4.2.1 Jelly Bean, Nokia stands at Windows Phone 8 OS. Even Micromax in the same price range offers Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean. While the selected model of Samsung offers 1 GB RAM and Java support, Nokia remains with 512 MB RAM and no Java Support is available. While Samsung offers a wider screen space with a size of 4.7 inches, Nokia restrains itself only to 4.29 inches. The Nokia Model does not include the FM Radio also. While Samsung model boasts of a bountiful of features like SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM, RSS, Nokia offers only SMS, MMS, Email and Push Mail. It may kindly be noted that the data have been taken from an online portal and the comparison had been conducted in one evening.

There is no reason to doubt the competence level of their engineers so that Nokia could not provide the additional services that are offered by Samsung. They have got a set of highly equipped professionals who have got the right caliber to proffer any of the advanced features, but perhaps it is the lack of awareness about the competitors’ offers or the need of the hour that have forced them to lag behind.

It may sound sarcastic but the fact of life remains that Nokia even did not bother much to penetrate diversified market territories and segments. We must not forget that the economic meltdown had appeared as a dreaded scourge that had affected most of the world brands. Nokia had not delved into arranging special marketing drives to reach to the newer countries and segments.

The example of Infosys may be highly relevant as they had also cut a sorry figure in their balance sheets for last couple of years as they are excessively inclined on the UK and USA markets only. Though they have got a few Government projects in India but the projects were highly inadequate to absorb the growing recruitment figures. However, Nokia with its enormous strength failed to maintain their growth rate almost for similar reasons.

It is quite untrue that mobile phone sales have come down.

The mobile phone sales has recorded an incredible rise in the second quarter of 2013, but Nokia failed to reap the benefit. The growing dominance of Samsung has been sharply evidenced.

It is ridiculous to note for the Nokia top brass that LG or ZTE or Huawei or even Lenovo have been maintaining almost a status quo in their market share.

Today, Nokia has been trying to harvest depending on its age old brand value, which has worked more as infamy in today’s world, where the competition has reached its threshold level and the asking rate of the customers have become seemingly steep.

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