Does Nokia have a truly global strategy or just a series of regional strategies? Explain. What brand of cell phone do you own? If you’re living in the United States, chances are it isn’t a Nokia. But if you’re living anywhere else in the world, it probably is. The Finnish electronics company grabs only a single-digit slice of the U.S. cell phone pie, but it dominates the global cell phone market with close to a 40 percent share. Few companies lead their industries the way that Nokia does. Half of the world’s population holds an active cell phone, and more than one in three of those phones is a Nokia.
That’s over one billion people holding a cell phone with a Nokia logo. Perhaps even more amazing, the company sells half-again that many—about half a billion—phones every year. In fact, Nokia sells more cell phones each year than its three closest rivals—Samsung, Motorola, and Sony-Ericsson—combined! You might think that Nokia has accomplished this feat by being the product leader, always introducing the latest cutting-edge gadget. But Nokia has actually been slow to take advantage of design trends, such as clamshell phones; “candy-bar” phones that slide open and closed; and ultrathin, blingy, multifunction phones. Rather, Nokia has risen to global dominance based on a simple, age-old strategy: sell basic products at low prices. Although Nokia markets a huge variety of cell phone models, it is best known for its trademarked easy-to-use block handset. Nokia mass produces this basic reliable hardware cheaply and ships it in huge volumes to all parts of the world.

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January 21, 2012

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