Think back over the last decade. Twelve years ago, Motorola one of the leaders in the development of the entire cell phone industry, was clearly #1. It invented the flip phone and then disrupted the market with its super thin RAZR that drove it to a peak market share in the mid-30’s. Its biggest strength was its enormous patent portfolio. Then new CEO Ed Zander closed down Motorola’s intellectual property pursuits and started the company on a death march. It didn’t take long for the company to wind up in the junk heap.Even Carl Icahn lost money.
Rimm was the next true disrupter in the mobile market with its Blackberry device. The sound quality wasn’t the best but for sure, if you wanted to be able to monitor your email from the road you had to have a Blackberry. Corporations embraced them until they missed their next generation transition. Fade to black.
During this last decade, Nokia was slowly disappearing from the U. S. market even as it dominated global phone sales with the largest world market share. It was asleep as the smart phone revolution overtook the industry and is now suffering the consequences of not responding fast enough with enough horsepower. Its phones still deliver the best “phone” experience but otherwise, Nokia became irrelevant to U.S. carriers. As Nokia has learned in spades, if you fall behind, you lose ground quickly and now even in developing countries, consumers are rejecting plain vanilla devices.
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