It’s official, the Nokia mobile phone brand is no more.
Following Microsoft’s acquisition of the famous phone manufacturer last year, the Nokia branding has been phased out and the new Lumia smartphones will now feature the Microsoft Lumia name.
To make the end of an era, we though we’d take a nostalgic look back at the history of one of the early pioneers of the mobile phone business.
Nokia didn’t start out manufacturing mobile phones, in fact the company originated in the 19th Century as a Paper Mill. It went on to make gas masks for the First and Second World Wars before making its first mobile phone in the 1980’s. The Eighties was the era of gigantic ‘mobile’ phones which are laughably comic to look back on. Nokia was responsible for one of the smaller of these brick sized devices which was the Mobira Cityman 900.
Nokia continued to develop and produce smaller handsets in the 1990’s. The popular Nokia 3210 – which achieved sales of around 160 million- was one of the world’s first pocket-sized mobile phones. The 3210 made mobile phones more affordable to the masses with its popularity generating better deals for new users.
In the early 2000’s Nokia dominated the mobile phone market with a steady stream of iconic handsets. These included the Nokia 3310 with it’s fun interchangeable and colourful covers, the Nokia 7650 complete with a colour screen and Multi Media messaging and, in 2004, Nokia unveiled the 7710 which came with a touchscreen. The Nokia 1110 proved to be Nokia’s best selling mobile phone with sales of approximately 250 million handsets in 2005. Nokia dominated the mobile phone market to such an extent that they still hold the record of having nine out of ten of the world’s best selling handsets.
Nokia were the world’s largest mobile phone company for 14 years from 1998 to 2012 until they were knocked off the top by Samsung. Microsoft formed an alliance with Nokia in 2011 and this saw the creation of the Nokia Lumia series of Windows Phones smartphones. Last year Microsoft paid £5 billion to acquire Nokia’s smartphone business. The writing was on the wall for the Nokia brand that moment that transaction was finalised.
One of the early greats on the industry is no more but we’ll remember Nokia fondly for the simple, functional and affordable designs (if not for that annoying jingle that played when you turned your phone on!)