Nokia, originally a Finnish forestry products company formed is 1865, is now the world's top seller of mobile phones. Over the years, Nokia has made everything from toilet paper to television sets and tires. But in 1992, incoming CEO Jorma Ollila focused all of the company's resources on telecommunications.
Nokia's first digital phones appeared on the market in 1993. At the time, Nokia expected to sell only about 400,000 units. Instead, it sold 20 million. By 1998, Nokia was selling 40 million mobile phones per year, surpassing Motorola to become the world's biggest mobile phone company. Nokia now has nearly 40 percent market share in a global market that is expected to see nearly half a billion handsets shipped in 2004. How did Nokia get so successful? Back in the 1990s, cell phone companies like Motorola were following the Henry Ford motto of "you can have a car (or phone) in any color as long as it is black." Cell phones were black, businesslike, and boring. Nokia realized that cell phones were persona l accessories and that many consumers wanted more than just a utilitarian phone. So it introduced phones with a sense of style, a riotous profusion of interchangeable faceplates, and a growing list of ring -tones. In 2001, Nokia's Mobile Phones (NMP) division launched 15 new products. In 2002, it launched 30 new products. In 2003, just 10 years after its entry into the market, Nokia outsold Motorola, its nearest rival, by a two-to-one margin.
The new products sell well because they're more than just minor tweaks in color or case design. Nokia was the first company to mass-market a cell phone with the antenna inside, the first to offer a user -changeable faceplate, the first to feature a built -in camera, the first with a unique short -message chat function. The latest model features a rubberized case, flashlight, thermometer, calorie counter, stop watch, and radio. Another comes with a fold-out QWERTY keyboard that...