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Nokia Made Too Many Telephones

Nokia Made Too Many Telephones

2024-02-13 02:35:01

"Chart of Nokia Phone Lanunches by Year (1982-22)"

The telephone market in 2000-10 was loopy, however Nokia’s technique was even crazier. Simply within the yr ‘05 alone, it launched greater than fifty fashions, greater than the variety of iPhone fashions Apple has shipped in sixteen years because the first. Granted, lots of the Nokia fashions have been barely totally different from one another, however nonetheless, Nokia was creating an absurd variety of classes.

Nokia telephones have been business-centric, music-centric, camera-centric. That they had the whole lot from 1-bit monochromatic shows to 24-bit AMOLED shows. The body-design itself had a number of sort: Bar, Flip, Slide, Qwerty, and … Lipstick?

For some fashions, the corporate determined to drop all types of conventionality.

To make clear, making totally different fashions isn’t the core situation right here. Laptops, displays, and home equipment all are available varied specs and sizes to serve totally different wants. Nonetheless, they don’t deviate an excessive amount of from the core design. Nokia, then again, was experimenting an excessive amount of. Not solely the number of units was creating an incoherent person expertise, nevertheless it additionally made it virtually unattainable to create an app market.


Within the Sixties, Nokia was a conglomerate promoting the whole lot from bathroom paper to tires. It did a commendable job reworking itself right into a telecom-based firm within the 90s. Nonetheless, market segmentation was baked into Nokia’s technique. Of their ‘05 annual report, they wrote:

For Nokia, a aggressive cell machine product portfolio means a broad and balanced providing of commercially interesting cell units with engaging options, performance and design for all main client segments and value factors supported by the Nokia model, high quality and aggressive price construction.

The fascinating half is how the thought manifested itself in how the group labored.

Nokia’s Cell machine division had three sub-divisions: cellphones, multimedia, and enterprise options enterprise teams. And every of these divisions had additional sub-divisions. Every sub-division was independently creating telephone fashions, making an attempt to seize the market they have been assigned.

Check out the Cell phone division. It had 5 separate items (Nokia Annual report ‘05, p28):

  1. Broad Attraction unit targeted “on mid-range merchandise the place the stability between value, performance and magnificence is vital” (eg, Nokia 3250).

  2. The Entry unit addressed markets the place they believed “there’s potential for progress and the place cell penetration ranges are comparatively low.” (eg, Nokia 1100).

  3. Life-style unit targeting “top-end merchandise for customers who pays a premium for higher-quality supplies, design, and options.” (eg. Nokia 8800).

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  4. A CDMA unit to collaborate with operators and create fashions utilizing CDMA know-how.

  5. Vertu, a unit for luxurious communications merchandise, targeted “in the direction of establishing a luxurious cell phone class.”

The multimedia division targeted on telephones with “the flexibility to create, entry and devour multimedia”. This included the N-Collection telephones, and XPressMusic telephones.

The enterprise division targeted on enterprise customers. This included the E-Collection telephones, 9300 telephones.

You may already see the place the difficulty began brewing. Tens of sub-divisions, every launching a number of fashions to seize particular segments of the market. Whereas Nokia did make investments closely in R&D, it was unattainable to supply cohesive analysis that might enhance their telephones usually; the essential analysis that may pave the way in which for the iPhone in a number of years. And the remaining is historical past.

One of many first issues that Jobs did after returning to Apple was to kill particular person “enterprise items” and reorganize the corporate based mostly on features. It’s fascinating to see how Nokia succumbed to the dangerous technique that had virtually killed Apple in ‘97. Nokia perceived the smartphone market as composed of a number of classes, not as an entire. And that’s the place it misplaced the battle.

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