Apple released the iPhone in 2007. Coincidentally, that was Nokia’s best year on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. Back then they were valued at 110 billion Euros. Today however, Nokia is worth just 16.2 billion Euros according to Helsingin Sanomat, a Finnish publication. That massive loss of value isn’t the real story though, what’s concerning is that Nokia, for the first time ever, has lost their title of being the most valuable company on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. That honor now goes to Fortum, which is an energy company that services the Nordic countries, the Baltic countries, Poland, and parts of Russia.
Should we be surprised by this? Not really. Half a decade ago there were a lot of people who were skeptical about Apple’s entrance into the smartphone market, this author included. But that bold strategy of focusing on just one product, that gets refreshed once a year, has been a stupendous success. Just yesterday we filed a report that said Apple takes 80% of all the profits that the mobile device industry generates. Samsung takes 15%. And everyone fights over the rest.
So how can Nokia bring themselves back? If we knew the answer, we’d be the world’s highest paid consultants. But seriously, we’re appalled that MeeGo was destroyed. That platform, combined with Amazon’s content ecosystem, could have produced something magical. Instead, Nokia decided to become Microsoft’s bitch for all intents and purposes. Ballmer says jump, and Elop says how high. Windows Phone will eventually be “good enough”, we know that since Microsoft has the money to stay in the game (just look at Bing), but it’s safe to say that Nokia’s best days are behind them now.
The question we should be asking isn’t when Nokia will come back, it’s who is going to be the company that overtakes Apple? Is it going to be Samsung? Is it going to be Google? Is it going to be a company that hasn’t yet been invented?
Time will tell.