Business English podcast 5: Nokia and the mobile industry

by Lynch A.K.A 'The Regulator' on August 5, 2012

Nokia history
Nokia podcasting app for phone.
Original businessweek podcast
2012 news – Nokia no longer number 1

Today’s Business English podcast is based on a Businessweek magazine article called ‘Stephen Elop’s Nokia Adventure.’ But first … some interesting things about Nokia ou will learn in this ESL class.

Nokia is a Finnish company that is more than 150 years old. As mobile phones haven’t existed for more than 25 years, the question is… what the hell they were doing the rest of the time…research and development into mobiles for 120 years?

No, first they sold wood, and then rubber boots. During the late eighties however, they decided to manufacture and design phones. And clearly they did it very well because in 2000 they had a 52% market share. Also, Nokia has sold more than 3 billion phones, and Nokia’s corporate taxes are responsible for 20% of all corporate taxes in Finland.

But there are problems … they don’t have a 50 per cent market share anymore… now it’s 26% and experts predict this figure could be reduced to 14% within two years. So what are Nokia are doing to combat this situation?

Well, in this business English podcast we hear they’ve hired Stephen Elop from Microsoft to change the destiny of the company. But experts warn of a low probability of success. The reason … strong competition from Apple and Google Android.
One of the most important strategies for Nokia is their decision to eliminate their operating system Simbian. You haven’t heard of it? Neither have I. And that tells us everything we need to know about Simbian. The first candidate to replace this system was Google Android, but the negotiations ended early when Google refused to allow Nokia to modify the system. In the end, surprise surprise, guess what the ex-Microsoft executive has chosen as the new operating system… yes sir… Microsoft’s – Windows mobile.

Well, folks … in my opinion I think they’ll have to do more than this.

Do you remember when the Matrix premiered in 1999 … I remember when Neo received the phone to contact Morpheus: a black Nokia with a sliding mouthpiece … It was a bloody cool phone and at that time, Nokia was cool. With the arrival of Apple and Smart phones, though, the question is whether the Nokia brand can regain its sense of cool. I dunno … but for all who work in the field of technology I’ll give you a tip: the technology industry these days is as unpredictable as the fashion industry… one year you’re hot… the next you’re not. Thanks for listening to the podcast and make sure you continue studying ESL.

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