No, the history of Nokia is not just to phones

a leap in the 1980s

in 1988, the Nokia Corporation decided to focus on its mobile phones. in less than a decade, it has become leader in the mobile market, deciding to turn up the heat on Telecom. But before that happened a lot, and Nokia Corporation debuted as a merger of three companies.

In 1865, which later became a part of the Nokia Corporation was founded on the banks of the rapids of Tammerkoski in Finland, and she was specialized in the production of pulp and paper. The mining engineer Fredrik Idestam, founder of the company, was quickly able to identify demand and opened a second factory on the banks of the Nokianvirta River. It is here that the company takes its name, as well as the city of Nokia which was crossed by the river.

Nokia wood mill
the second factory of Nokia pulp on the banks of the Nokianvirta River. © NOKIA

This means that ‘ company was already firmly in my country while the “Nokia ringtone” was born. This last is a composition for guitar entitled Grand Vals, written by Francisco Tárrega in 1902. The company obviously played no role in its creation.

Another founding pillar of the company was the products of rubber, like tires or boots. A range of boots are still on the market today under the name of “Nokian Footwear”, a company founded in 1990 (and) that finds its origins in 1898, where she operated under the name of Finnish Rubber Works with Leo Mechelin. Following the success of its first revenue from rubber, the company then diversified in hoses and belts.

The factory of Nokia boots

Nokia boots factory
admit. you wish you had a pair of Nokia boots, no? © NOKIA

the two companies, led by a partnership between Idestam and Mechelin, merged in 1871 to give birth to the Nokia Company.

Shortly after, in 1912, the Finnish Cable Works was established to start the production of electrical, telephone and Telegraph cables (no surprise). In 1922, Finnish Rubber Works, the Nokia Company and the Finnish Cable Works merged, and it was not until 1967 Nokia Corporation was formally founded.

In 1960, after moving, the Finnish Cable Works established my first department devoted to electronics, which then led him to the mobile sector, under the leadership of the first president and CEO of the Nokia Corporation, Björn Westerlund.

Also during the 1960s, the Nokia Corporation began to manufacture various products on behalf of the Finnish Army, including the M61 gas mask, which continued to be produced into the early 1980s. He also developed a system of wireless messaging on behalf of the armed forces on the ground, that has finally been deployed in 1983, after years of development.

Sanomalaitteet ja LV 217 radio
the first of Nokia’s wireless messaging system has been developed on behalf of the army. © MKFI/Wikipedia

throughout the 1970s, Nokia continued to expand its network and its infrastructure, one of the most profitable activities of the company, it has also retained after the resale of its mobile business to Microsoft in April 2014.

Westerlund, according to the book ‘the decline and fall of Nokia’ David cord, insisted to my employees that they had to work on their personal research projects, a bit like the 20% rule on which Google had a reputation. This was later abandoned by Google, but that’s another story.


in 1977, Kari Kairamo took the succession of Westerlund, which marked the beginning of an emphasis on electronics and the first not made to the division three companies, in 1990.

Nokia tv
you don’t see too many TVs Nokia lately. © Ken Banks/Flickr

therefore, the Nokia Corporation has diversified into the production of other devices, including televisions and computers. In 1981, the first computer acronym Nokia Data, one of the departments of the company, was named the MikroMikko M1. He had only 64Kb of memory, two drives of 5.25 inches and 640Kb and a large keyboard, 2 kg.

In 1982 he made my first car phone, and in 1984 my true first mobile phone. Mobile, in this case, is all relative compared to current standards, since he weighed 5 kg. Unsurprisingly, it was always used for cars and it was not until 1987 and the launch of the Mobira Cityman a model of”Pocket” saw the day.

Nokia Mobira 2
the Mobira Talkman, one of the first Nokia phones. © NOKIA

during the tenure of Kairamo, the company ventured into these new markets, but by the late 1980s, because of results in the sector of television and computers, the CEO commits suicide in December 1988. Simo Vuorilehto replaced him in CEO acting, and Jorma Olila took the head of the company from 1992 to 2006.

During the 1990s, under the aegis of Olila, Nokia sold all of its non-telecom activities, is already separated from Nokian Tyres Nokian Footwear and its stationery business (currently Nokia Paperi) between 1988 and 1990.

Today, Nokia reinvests in the Smartphone market, hoping to regain at least part of its former glory, after years of lean on Microsoft OS. But even in the event of failure, the company will always be for her a remarkable past.

Do you think that Nokia will be able to come back under the spotlight in 2017?

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