Well, hopefully not the death. While I still think that they make the best hardware, things are looking pretty grim for Nokia. Instead of talking about how the company has been downgraded to junk bond (their assets are worth less than their market cap) status, lets take a step back at some of Nokia’s highlights:
Not so long ago, the 13-note ringtone of a Nokia handset was the de facto soundtrack of the mobile revolution. The world’s largest cell phone maker for more than a decade, the company was a leading innovator in both design and technology that helped bring wireless life to American high schoolers and rural Africans alike.
It is also worth mentioning how Nokia basically set the standard for mobile networks:
At the time, Europe was dominated by a balkanized mess of analog mobile networks that varied from country to country. This setup presented a logistical nightmare for companies in the business of making phones, which would have to build different models to meet the specifications of each individual market. As far back as 1982, engineers had been trying unsuccessfully to unify the continent under a single system. Nokia and its partners managed to get the network up and running in Finland by 1991. That year, the country’s prime minister used a Nokia phone to place the first ever call on a commercial GSM Network.
Nokia also made the best looking devices:
Nokia’s success was aesthetic, too. A 1999 New York Times profile of its design chief, Frank Nuovo, credited him with the idea of “turning cell phones into fashion statements.” Its otherwise plain 5100 and 6100 series phones came with easy to swap face plates that owners could change to “match a shade of nail polish”. Its sleek 8860, designed to look like a chrome cigarette lighter, retailed for $799, and was given out as a favor to guests at the Emmy Awards.
If Nokia does go (and I sincerely hope they don’t) they’ll leave a legacy of defining my first mobile experience and fueling the cellular market as we know it. Were it not for Nokia, we’d all still be using a Motorola Startac and that’s reason enough to still hold a place for the company.
Source: The Atlantic