5 things that Nokia did before (but not necessarily better than) Google

5 things that Nokia did before (but not necessarily better than) Google
While Google and Nokia started as (and have always been) very different companies, there are quite a few important things that the two have in common. In its glory days, Nokia accomplished things that Google also achieved some years later. Unlike Nokia, however, Google seems to be doing everything better - maybe just because times have changed, or because Google simply knows how to make plans work. Or maybe both reasons are valid. In any case, we could say that, in some ways, Google is now what Nokia once was. 

Naturally, Google is evolving differently, thanks to its astonishing financial power and all the talented employees it has. Meanwhile, Nokia is no longer involved in the phone making business (having sold its Devices and Services unit to Microsoft) - so we thought that this would be a good time to look back and check out some of the things that the Finnish company managed to do before its collapse. Mind you, we're talking about Nokia's collapse strictly as a phone maker.  

1. At some point, Nokia was the sole owner of the world’s most popular smartphone OS

Symbian Ltd. was established in the late 90s, following a partnership between Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson, and Psion. It wasn’t until 2008 that Nokia fully acquired it, thus becoming the sole owner of Symbian OS. Nokia then created the Symbian Foundation, making the platform open-source. At the time, Symbian was still the undisputed leader in the smartphone market, with a share of over 50%. For the record, 2008 was Android’s first year of public existence, ending with a 0.5% market share for Google’s OS.

Nokia’s control over what was the world’s most popular smartphone OS only lasted for 2 years: in the fourth quarter of 2010, Android took over Symbian, thus forever ending its hegemony. After that, Symbian went downhill, and its development ceased in 2012.

Fast forward to today: Google is about to enter its fifth year as the owner of the world’s leading smartphone OS. Right now, Android’s market share sits at over 80%. Things are looking very promising for the future, and it’s hard to believe that Android will lose its top position anytime soon.
 

2. Nokia offered maps navigation for its smartphones before Google

Google launched Maps Navigation for Android (for free!) in November 2009, first only in the US, with other markets receiving the service starting 2010. Nokia was already providing maps navigation for its Symbian handsets via what was called Ovi Maps from 2007 to 2011. Nokia made some major acquisitions in this regard, with NAVTEQ (bought in 2007 for $8.1 billion) being the most important among them. Right now, Nokia’s mapping and navigation services are controlled and developed by HERE - a separate business unit of the company, which recently started offering HERE maps for Android.


3. Nokia had a mobile gaming platform

Five years before Google launched its Play Games service (in 2013), Nokia introduced N-Gage: its very own mobile gaming platform for select Symbian S60 devices. The platform’s release was delayed from 2007 to 2008, when it was finally released to the public on the Nokia N81 (with more compatible smartphones being added not long after that). Apart from letting users discover and download games, Nokia N-Gage also had social features, including friends lists and score tables. The platform was not well received, and Nokia had no clear strategy regarding it. Thus, in 2009, Nokia started offering games via Ovi Store, announcing it would scrap the N-Gage platform. As for Google, its Play Games service is wildly successful, luring more than 100 million users this year alone.


4. Nokia had a WebKit-based browser for smartphones since the mid 2000s

Nokia’s Symbian S60 web browser was based on WebKit starting 2005, thus being included on lots of iconic Symbian smartphones - like the Nokia N95 and the Nokia E71. Google also relied on WebKit to build its Android browser that debuted on the T-Mobile G1 in late 2008. At the moment, Chrome for Android (which replaced the original Android browser) is based on an engine called Blink - this uses some WebKit components, too.


5. Nokia was behind smartphones believed to be "iPhone killers" 

The term “iPhone killer” was quite popular some years back, but now almost no one uses it anymore (probably because everyone realized that the iPhone can’t be killed). Nokia introduced several smartphones believed by some to have had the potential of being iPhone killers, including the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic (released in 2008), the Nokia N97 (announced in 2008, but launched in 2009), and the Nokia N8 from 2010. Needless to say, Google was also behind some so-called iPhone killers, though not always directly: the original Motorola Droid, the original Samsung Galaxy S, the Nexus One, the original HTC Desire, and others.

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33 Comments

3. mobi_user

Posts: 152; Member since: Jun 18, 2013

One of the biggest mistake Nokia did, was to compromise on the hardware. It never gave symbian devices any firepower. With weak A7 processors and less RAM, the devices stood no chance in competition. Symbian could do 1080p video recording with just 1.3 Ghz of process which Andriod can never achieve.

7. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

Only we can say that it was a huge mistake..... Nokia was giant, now become small :(

15. GeorgeDao123

Posts: 432; Member since: Aug 20, 2013

Symbian is still good, even now. The problem is, as you say, Nokia wound down Symbian development. They promoted Lumia instead.

26. Gadgety

Posts: 173; Member since: Sep 03, 2012

Yes, this was my perception, too. Poor hardware specified by engineers to fulfil the bean counters unrealistic budgets. It also seems, as it has at Sony as well, that the hardware, software and marketing (as in market research) departments weren't really communicating with each other. Nokia was also too entrenched in the Symbian architecture, and so milked the existing platform for all it was worth, and were too slow on building Maemo and Meego. By the way, Nokia had tablets before the others, too.

65. sraive

Posts: 80; Member since: Aug 21, 2014

All ignorant think that Nokia died because they chose Windows Phone instead of Android. But in fact, Nokia destroyed itself. Nokia was already dying and suffering. Just remember when Nokia's newer "high-end" phones were worse than their predecessors. Nokia N82 was the last good Nokia. After the N82 era, the new Nokia phones were pile of crap. They were horrible. Nokia released phones with weaker CPU, worse camera, ... totally a downgrade. Without any improvement. S60V3 had several annoying problems. And it was not possible to upgrade the OS on those phones. I've always hated the business strategy of Nokia. When they released a phone which has a plus feature, they took away another feature that was present in older devices. (For example N95 8GB was chargeable with USB, but the N82 wasn't. 6220 Classic was similar to N82, 6220 Classic had newer Symbian version, but it didn't have WiFi and 3D accelerator, and the "flagship" N97 also didn't have 3D accelerator and multitouch, ...). Same happened on software level. If you wanted to get the newest Symbian 9.3 and Ovi Maps with free navigation, you had to buy a new device, despite Ovi Maps (cracked version) worked perfectly on Symbian 9.2 too, but Nokia didn't make it officially compatible ON PURPOSE. And they released tons of phones with the same specifications. Nokia didn't care about improving their devices, their customers, innovation, ... so people switched to other brands. In 2009, while the Nokia high-end phones had only 400-600mHz CPU, 480p video recording and no 3D accelerator, the competition (Sony, HTC, Samsung) had 800mhz-1ghz CPU phones with HD video recording and 3D accelerator and more RAM. The Nokia phones in this year were dumbphones compared to the competition. Their N-Gage was a total failure. It should have to use the 3D accelerator (GPU) so it would be the excellent, Nokia exclusive gaming system. But instead, the quality of N-Gage games was equal to Java games, crap. (Except a few games, for example Brothers in Arms, however, that had serious LAG problems on the officially supported classic devices like N95 (8GB), N82. Nice idea, poor execution. So Nokia has never created any good phone without any step back/flaw. They frustrated their users 2009 is the year when I started to hate Nokia. If Microsoft didn't buy Nokia, Nokia would die 4 years ago in 2010. So Microsoft is the saviour of Nokia. If Google didn't create Android, Samsung or HTC with Bada or Windows Mobile would become the market leaders and Nokia would still lose the fight. Conclusion: Nokia deserve to die.

4. smitpatel

Posts: 19; Member since: Nov 30, 2014

Why they choose WP?? They should make WP as well as Android too!

16. GeorgeDao123

Posts: 432; Member since: Aug 20, 2013

They (the leftover) announced N1 tablet running Android 5.0 couple weeks ago.

5. Dinox

Posts: 9; Member since: Nov 24, 2014

iphone already killed by android phones long time ago, killed doesn't mean vanishing from market.

31. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

That's not true Apple still makes profit on iPhone then any company does off android or windowsphone and on a daily basis I reckon you see more iphones then a specific model of android !

48. Fazz1977

Posts: 153; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

Not even close, I see 5:1 the amount of Galaxy, HTC and LG devices than iPhails on a daily basis. Easily. Here in Australia iPhone uptake in the smartphone market is less than 10%. That less than 10% are also absolute c**ts and deserve beatings.

56. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

I said one specific device in comparison listen because here in Australia Sydney the city bus tells a different story

38. mrochester

Posts: 1018; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

So what does 'killed' mean exactly?!

8. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

Nokia was so ahead on that time......they didn't executed well..... I hope Nokia will comeback soon.....soon :) I'm waiting. King will wake up again.

10. toiletcleaner

Posts: 224; Member since: Oct 10, 2012

Keep waiting.............

33. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

your comment wasn't needed

51. kristofercaneromd

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 09, 2013

Many people are waiting also

20. MartyK

Posts: 1043; Member since: Apr 11, 2012

Hahahaha..folks Nokia is dead and gone. You can thank all those people who said Nokia leadership made the right decision with WP.

32. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

no one said that people just saw potential but killing off everything for WP now that was corporate suicide retarded elop and board

22. aslaan11

Posts: 4; Member since: Sep 03, 2014

Nokia has rights to produce mobile in 2016 they will come back.google applae and all copied nokia

25. romeo1

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

By then allot of people have forgotten about nokia as they switched to android or ios. Both better than wp. Still hoping they would switch to android but not sure if i would buy them unless they make better designed phones. The phones they made so far (lumias) looked like plastic bricks with a hump if you wanted a good camera phome

58. Damo579

Posts: 264; Member since: May 18, 2013

They are coming back with Android.

60. romeo1

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

Hope so ;)

34. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

that depends the phone Market is not a very friendly place why enter a market that destroyed you once when you've got a good foundation that you can build other stuff on

24. aslaan11

Posts: 4; Member since: Sep 03, 2014

Like this only apple store and google store came copy cat

36. sbw44

Posts: 433; Member since: Dec 04, 2012

Nokia made their own phones something couldnt do until they bought motorola. Nokia has created and still creates better camera technology than google. And last but not least Nokia has more and more important patents then google, without that google probably wouldn't be able to create phones

39. Mfa901

Posts: 291; Member since: Jul 14, 2012

i remember using swf files as wallpaper on Nokia S40 phones. there was also a hacking community for symbain phones like xda

45. abhi24

Posts: 18; Member since: Mar 23, 2014

Hopefully nokia will someday produce another phone. If so, they will need just one decent phone to stir up the minds of the people. I say people not fanboys, coz there very few in the world, who haven't used n admired a nokia device.

47. kurama.

Posts: 85; Member since: Sep 13, 2014

What do they mean buy iphone killer man wasn't n97 way more popular than iphone seriously iphone killer sounds like some huge villian from a comic. Stupid media.

49. Fazz1977

Posts: 153; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

Yes it was... waaaay more popular.

50. Fazz1977

Posts: 153; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

If Nokia make a decent android flagship post 2016, I'll be all over that.

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