History of the top five phone manufacturers


Though strange it may seem, but the company that controls the biggest market share started as a wood-pulp mill as far back as 1865 in southwest Finland. Subsequently it moved to another town, adopting its name as well. It is curious that the town itself bears the name of the river, flowing through it, the Nokianvirta; an old Finnish word, which means marten in the local lingo.

Next, after World War I, the company joined a corporation that had rubber and cable departments as well. This is how the telecommunication section was born. With time, it started to turn more and more to wireless technology; for example, their first car phone was presented in 1982. It was designed in collaboration with the Salora Oy company, bought at a later stage by Nokia. What followed was the first portable (though with difficulty) phone in the world and the trail-blazing NMT-900, which could be used by one hand only! Despite its high price, it became an absolute sales hit, turning into a cult device. There were certain periods in which the company produced computers and CRT displays; however, telecommunication remained its main business.

One can say that Nokia as we know it today began to function in 1991 by demonstrating its pilot GSM unit. In the following year, the first commercial model, the 1011, was officially launched.

Losses from the other branches of the company and the related crisis even resulted in a human victim – the 1980s chairman Kari Kairamo committed suicide in 1988. It led to the cardinal decision to lay the main stress on telecommunications and cancel the developments in other fields. This trend, however, did not stop the Finnish zeal, which, together with the growing popularity of mobile phones, led to a serious crisis with logistics. It necessitated a serious restructuring of the entire system so that it would match the high demand. Instead of placing long-term shipment orders, real-time communication with the trading companies was introduced, thus reducing losses from unsold production. This solution gave Nokia a great advantage over their competitors, still in effect in our days.

The real big success was achieved by Nokia in the new century. Thanks to their partnership with Siemens AG and several reasonable mergers and acquisitions like those of Navteq, Twago, and Enpocket, the company has secured its development in various fields. At the annual meeting of the shareholders in May this year, a declaration was made that it was not the company’s vision to be regarded solely as a phone manufacturer. It is officially entering the circles of the big players such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft, by not only offering products, but creating various Internet systems as well.

Still, what remains of greatest interest to us, are the devices that Nokia has been and will be producing. It was no other company but Nokia that made model 1100, known as the best-selling consumer electronics product of all times (more than 200 million units worldwide).


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