Nokia can trace its roots to a pulp mill in Finland
Nokia struggled to stay relevant against fleet-footed technology rivals. Photograph: Paul Thomas/Bloomberg
We track the mobile phone giant’s rise around the world and subsequent fall.
1871: The Nokia name is inspired by the Nokianvirta river where Idestam opens a second mill.
1898: Eduard Polón founds Finnish Rubber Works, which later becomes Nokia’s rubber business.
1912: Arvid Wickström sets up Finnish Cable Works, the foundation of Nokia’s cable and electronics business.
1967: The official merger of Nokia Ab, Finnish Cable Works and Finnish Rubber.
1979: Nokia creates radio telephone company Mobira Oy as a joint venture with leading Finnish TV maker Salora.
1981: Launch of the Nordic Mobile Telephone service, the world’s first international cellular network, and the first to allow international roaming.
1982: Nokia introduces the first car phone – the Mobira Senator – to the network. The company’s first digital telephone switch goes into operation.
1984: It launches the Mobira Talkman portable car phone – a chunky piece of kit but a start.
1987: Nokia introduces the Mobira Cityman, the first handheld mobile phone. It weighs 800g and comes with a price tag of 24,000 Finnish Marks. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is pictured using one to make a call from Helsinki to his communications minister in Moscow.
1991: Finnish prime minister Harri Holkeri makes the world’s first “global system for mobile communications” call, using Nokia equipment.
1992: The company launches its first digital handheld GSM phone: the Nokia 1011. Nokia president and chief executive Jorma Ollila decides to focus on mobile phones and telecommunications. The process of selling off Nokia rubber, cable and consumer electronics divisions begins.
1994: Nokia launches the 2100 series, the first phones to feature the Nokia Tune ringtone. It goes on to sell 20 million phones worldwide in the 2100 series. Nokia’s target was 400,000.
1998: Nokia becomes the world leader in the mobile phone market.
1996-2001: The company’s turnover increases almost fivefold from €6.5 billion to €31 billion.
1999: It launches the Nokia 7110, a phone capable of rudimentary web-based functions, including email. It accesses the internet using wireless application protocol (WAP).
2000: The company does a deal with music publisher EMI, enabling users to choose their favourite tunes as their ringtones.
2001: Nokia launches its first phone with a built-in camera, the Nokia 7650. But a profit warning, blamed on a slowdown in the mobile market, stuns investors. It announces plans to cut 1,000 jobs, but things start to look up by the end of the year.