Nokia's journey began exactly 150 years ago when mining engineer Fredrik Idestam set up his first wood pulp mill at the Temmerkoski Rapids in Southwester Finland. It was May 12, 1865.
Fast forward 150 years and Nokia is still a force to be reckoned even though it has changed its focus from mobile phones to other areas of development.
The name of the company that ruled the mobile world for so many years has a simple story behind. Fredrik Idestam, the founder of the company, opened a second mill on the backs of the Nokianvirta river, which is what inspired him to name his company Nokia Ab in 1871.
Few Nokia fans probably know that back in 1967, Nokia had five businesses, but only one had something to do with the telecommunications industry. Obviously, that makes sense since the first handheld mobile phone prototype appeared six years later in 1973.
Nokia Corporation, the result of the merger of Nokia AB, Finnish Rubber Works, and Finnish Cable Works, had the following business: rubber, cable, forestry, electronics and power generation.
The Finnish company entered the telecommunications equipment market in 1960 with its electronics department. It took more than 30 years for the industry to evolve, but the first GSM call was made in 1991 with a Nokia phone over the network built by the Finnish company.
At the beginning of the ‘90s, Nokia has decided to make its telecommunications its core business and what a good decision it was. By 1998, Nokia was already the world leader in mobile phone.
Beginning 2006, Nokia has started to acquire companies specialized in mapping technology, such as Gate5 and NAVTEQ. After six years of development, in 2012 Nokia launched its own map service called HERE, which is now a worthy competitor for Google Maps.
On the telecom infrastructure front, Nokia formed a joint venture with Siemens in 2007, which later became leading global provider of telecom infrastructure.
Four years later, in 2011, Nokia announced it has decided to team up with Microsoft to try and save its mobile phone business, which collapsed due to lack of innovation on both software and devices fronts.
Instead of choosing Android, Nokia went all in on Windows Phone, which proved to be not a good idea since, on September 3, the Finnish company announced it would sell its Devices & Services division to Microsoft. Under agreement, Nokia can't release another smartphone until the end of 2015.
On a positive note, Nokia launched its first Android tablet earlier this year. The N1 is only available in China and Taiwan, but the Finnish company promised the tablet will rolled out in other countries as well.
Today, Nokia Corporation has a new vision and strategy, which focus on three businesses: Nokia Networks, HERE, and Nokia Technologies.
In the last couple of weeks, many rumors claiming Nokia plans to return to the smartphone business in 2016 popped up online.
Although Nokia has since denied it will launch any mobile phones next year, fans continue to dream of its comeback.
Either way, today is the day we wish “Happy Birthday” to Nokia! May you last another 150 years and continue to innovate in all businesses you choose to activate in.