Why Nokia troubles make me sad..


When I read that Nokia was down grading its Nairobi office to just the sales office, I wasn’t shocked, it was a matter of when not if. But I expected the changes to be more mild.

I started thinking of a blog post and several ideas came to mind. Like I wanted to focus on Nokia’s failure to produce more smartphones at cheaper rates, however crappy the smartphone is, we just want it for show off. I am sure you have seen people showing off their iPhones and Blackberries while or they do is call and receive and maybe two emails a day…ohhh Facebook too 🙂 few of us use more than three apps.

Nokia has focussed on low end phones, bringing in the twin SIMs five years too late and not recognizing the Chinese threat early enough. I am sure you can think of your own reasons why Nokia is failing.

But, look on the constructive side, Nokia has probably done more for students, developers and businesses more than any other phone company. Nokia research has a base at the University of Nairobi, the work at the ihub and mlab is great and I am just wondering whether there is any other phone manufacturer in Kenya that has invested as much within Kenya’s developer community.

Its ok for us to dismiss Nokia but can you imagine the company invested in a marketing exercise where they introduced developers of corporates like banks etc. I am not privy to whether some of the ideas were stolen or not but the mere gesture is impressive.

Having a regional office comes with a bigger budget but in comparison, South Africa provides a bigger market for the Finnish manufacturer and if investments in the country will mean more sales, then South Africa it will be.

Nokia might say that they will continue with the initiatives they had in the country but the probability of support and investment dwindling is almost natural.

Technology is dynamic and it has done to Nokia what it does to companies that fail to move fast and predict market trends and match it up with innovation.

For now, lets see how Kenya performs as a sales office 🙂



  1. Mobile handsets were commoditized by Android, that is when Nokia lost the game. So, stop the weep, it no longer matters what the hardware of the phone is, its the apps. Android makes more phones make sense, think the Ideos and related. The world has since moved from hardware to apps and the content the apps pulls along to the user. I don’t think duo sim is going to win in the long term for any mobile hardware vendor, they are towing the line of telco tariff games.

    I am not enthusiastic that their deal with M$ will change the game for them to as M$ is also trying (yes, pay attention to the word trying) to stay relevant with the future trends.

    We love Nokia, they made the world accept to use the mobile phone by making it simple, just like M$ did with the PC. Unfortunately, the human being is more dynamic and is now more excited about mobile devices and sophisticated gizmos.

  2. I believe the market has room for Nokia. Anyone who has taken time to check out Windows Phone 7.5 and glimpsed at Windows 8 will tell you there is hope for a third ecosystem. The smooth and fresh Metro UI combined with Nokia’s hardware promises value for money.

    Nokia just need to change their ‘old is gold’ organizational culture and adapt a flexible strategy to make it. This is already happening under Stephen Elop’s stewardship and Nokia Lumia 710 & 800 gives me all reasons to wish them well. As a consumer, the more choice I have, the better.

Comments are closed.