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Nokia: The History of the Business

Nokia was first established as a communications business in Finland in 1987, and during the course of their existence have come to specialize primarily in mobile phone production, a success due in part to its joint venture with Siemens telecommunications to form 'Nokia Siemens Networks'.

Nokia's rise to prominence was not an overnight success. The company had been making commercial mobile radio technology as far back as the 1960s, which included producing the kind of technology that would soon become an integral part of car phone capabilities. Nokia strengthened its power in the communications industry when it became Finland's first commercial phone network in 1971.

Since then Nokia has acquired a worldwide staff of 122,000 employees across 120 countries. Nokia's products generate annual revenue of €38 billion and as of 2012 are the world's second-largest producers of phones.

The power of Nokia increased in Finland after the 1979 merger with fellow communications company Salora, which led to the creation of Mobira Oy, a joint venture which in addition to developing car phones began making mobiles for the NMT (Nordic Mobile Telephony) network standard. Nokia bought out Salora for full entitlement to Mobira in 1984 and changed the name to Nokia-Mobira Oy.

Nokia's first success beyond its homeland occurred in 1984 following the release of the mobile phone, The Mobira Talkman. This popularity continued with the Mobira Cityman 900 model three years later. The Mobira Cityman was one of the lightest phones in the world with a weight of just 800 grams, and despite costing 24,000 Finish marks (approximately £3,653) the phone found many customers in the western world at a time when phones were becoming a status symbol, largely thanks to the rise of 'yuppie' culture, a name given to a new generation of young adults successful in the business world. However the appeal of the Mobira Cityman was also prevalent in unlikely societies too, perhaps most noticeable when communist leader Mikhail Gorbachev was photographed using a Mobira to call from Finland to Russia in 1987.

Throughout the 1990s, Nokia went from strength to strength with their technology staying ahead of all competitors. Between 1998 and 2012, Nokia was the world's largest retailer of phones and by the end of 2007 had sold more than 440 million units making them responsible for 40% of all global phone sales. However, in recent years the dominance of Nokia has declined due to the increasing popularity of Smartphones, such as the Apple iPhone. In 2011, Nokia's market share in the mobile phone market had dropped to 27%. This was an unexpected blow to the business that has led to new products being developed such as new phones like the Lumia 710 and 800 which are part of a business arrangement with Microsoft Windows. Considering Nokia's previous business successes, this venture will not only produce some great new technology, but will help to re-establish them as the world's leading mobile phone provider.
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