Old is New Again: Revival of Nokia and Motorola

Whenever we think about the pioneers of mobile phones the brands that come in our mind are Nokia and Motorola as in 90’s, these were the only dominant names in the industry that made phones with iconic features.

In September 2013 Nokia announced the sale of its mobile and devices division to Microsoft

The Finnish phone maker, Nokia ruled the international cellular market for quite a long time. Be it Nokia 1011 the first commercially available mobile phone, Nokia 3310, Nokia 1100 the best-selling mobile phone of all time, Nokia 7650 the first camera phone; every phone had its own prominent feature and charm. Nokia was also one of the creators of mobile gaming; its popular Snake game was later on available on many products.

Old is New Again: Revival of Nokia and Motorola

In 2007, Apple introduced iOS and Google offered Android as an open-source alternative, but Nokia vowed to its original OS i.e. Symbian. Unfortunately, Symbian proved a weak competitor to iOS and Android systems. Though Nokia started embracing Windows Mobile for its smartphone range, but the company had already lost most of its previous momentum. The company had already been making huge losses for two years, and in September 2013 announced the sale of its mobile and device division to Microsoft.

As in the 90’s, manufacturers like Nokia and Motorola were the only dominant names in the industry that made phones with iconic features

The sale was encouraging for Nokia to stop further disastrous financial figures, and was also good for Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer, who wanted Microsoft to develop more hardware and turn it into a ‘devices and services’ company.

The sale was finalized in April 2014, with Microsoft Mobile becoming the beneficiary to Nokia’s mobile devices division. Now once again Nokia is set to take over the mobile market, this time under HMD leadership which is a Taiwanese manufacturing company. And according to the news, over 100000 people preordered Nokia 6 in just one day which shows that Nokia is still a power brand. It is expected that Nokia is going to launch more Android handsets at the MWC 2017.

The Google acquisition of Motorola played a major role in the revival of the company and they introduced their first phone under the name of Moto X in 2013

Another mobile manufacturing company that prepared its revival is Motorola. More or less, Motorola faced the same situation as Nokia. Motorola established its telecommunication firm at Schaumburg, Illinois in 1928. Initially the company offered wireless equipment such as signal amplifiers and cellular transmission base stations. In 1984, Motorola introduced the world’s first handheld cellular phone Motorola DynaTAC. It was the first company to bring the “flip phone” called MicroTAC and the “clam phone” with the StarTAC during the mid-1990s. In 2001, Motorola launched the V60 model cellular phone, which had Internet access, voice-activated dialing, and text messaging.

Despite being the trendsetters in the telecommunications industry, Motorola’s market share was taken over by new entrants. Till 2006, it was a tough competitor and brought some remarkable phones like Moto RAZR, Pebble etc. But gradually things started to change.

Back in 2011, Google acquired the company for $12.5 billion. The Google acquisition of Motorola played a major role in the revival of the company and it introduced its first smartphone under the name of Moto X in 2013. In Moto X the company practically changed the face of mobile market by presenting high-end specs at low price labels. Failing to incorporate it into its idea, Google sold the mobile division to Lenovo in 2014 for $2.91 billion while retaining the patent portfolio. Regardless of some blunders along the way and Lenovo confessing that it misjudged the size of the task imminent at Motorola; it now has a clear vision of what it wants to do.

Technology is a very fast paced industry where opportunity missed is opportunity lost. Nokia and Motorola will have to face tough competition, nostalgia alone won’t be enough to underpin their return in smartphone world in 2017.

Nokia and Motorola will have to face tough competition, nostalgia alone won’t be enough to underpin their return in smartphone world in 2017

Nokia and Motorola were the premium mobile brands of their time, but they failed to keep up with the changing trends of the mobile market and missed out on the opportunity. Their opponents became more powerful by addressing the consumers’ needs for better and smarter technology. They have to bring some extra value for customers to gain their attention which will require colossal effort at their ends.  But in all fairness, Nokia and Motorola phones will definitely act as a refreshing tonic for consumers already suffering from iPhone fatigue and explosion fears surrounding Samsung phones.

Nokia was once the largest mobile brand of Pakistan and Motorola also had a strong market positioning in the country. Only time will tell if both companies will be able to reach their old stardom or not

Pakistan is one of the fastest growing smartphone market in Asia. According to GSMA, smartphone penetration in Pakistan will reach 55-70% by the end of 2020. This makes Pakistan an important market for OEMs. Nokia and Motorola are also planning to officially launch their devices.

Nokia final lineup is not yet finalized for Pakistan but Motorola has already launched its first phone, Moto Z. Nokia was once the largest mobile brand of Pakistan and Motorola also had a strong market positioning in the country. Only time will tell if both companies will be able to reach their old stardom or not.

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