Nokia is one of the world's leading makers of cell phones. First incorporated in the Finnish city it's named after, Nokia's business consists of mobile device manufacturing and services, primarily running Microsoft's Windows mobile platform, as well as NAVTEQ (digital map content and services). Nokia also operates the Nokia Siemens Networks in partnership with Munich-based Siemens; the joint venture is a leading player in the telecom infrastructure and services market. With products in more than 160 countries, Nokia's largest single-country market, by more than double, is China, at about 15% of sales.
By region Europe is Nokia's largest contributor to sales, pulling in about one-third. Its business in the US generates less than 5% of sales, behind six other countries by percentage of Nokia's sales. Key R&D and software development locations are in China, Finland, Germany, and the US.
By domestic currency Nokia's 2010 revenue grew by 4%, but 2011 sales receded to €38.7 billion (about $50 billion), its lowest take since 2006. The company's legacy Symbian operating system continued to get hammered in the marketplace by Apple's iOS and Google's Android and its lack of devices that could support dual SIMs (memory cards) also contributed to the drop in sales.
Smartphones are at the center of Nokia's strategy. Once dominant in the cell phone device market, Nokia faces increasing competition both on the device side and the operating system side. While the company is still a top three player in devices (behind only Samsung Electronics and Apple), its Symbian OS has long-since been eclipsed by the two main juggernauts. A key move to combat this, in 2011 Nokia began a major partnership with Microsoft, which includes a shift away from Symbian to focus on Microsoft's more competitive Windows smartphone OS. The company expects that transition to take about two years. The company further paved this road that year by outsourcing its Symbian software development and support to Accenture, effective through 2016, which included a transfer of 2,300 employees to the outsourcer. Nokia's partnership with Microsoft will also touch developments in other areas, such as Nokia's location and commerce business.
Strengthening Nokia Siemens Networks' global presence, particularly in the US and Japan, the company picked up Motorola Solutions' networks business in 2011 for nearly $1 billion. The acquired assets include the company's GSM, CDMA, WCDMA, WiMAX, and LTE products and services. Besides the improved global visibility, the purchase also boosted its position with service providers such as China Mobile, KDDI, Clearwire, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless.
To gain ground in the US against device competitors, Nokia increased its focus on its core handset business by selling its wireless modem operations to Renesas Electronics in 2010 for about $200 million. The deal included the transfer of more than 1,000 employees to Renesas and plans for the two companies to cooperate in developing high-speed modem technology.
Earlier in 2010 the company fueled its location and commerce business when it acquired geographic data and mapping software maker MetaCarta as part of its ongoing investment in technology to support location-based mobile services for wireless phones. Also that year Nokia it acquired Novarra, a developer of a browser and service platform for mobile devices. Nokia uses the Novarra software on its Series 40 platform, and other handset manufacturers employ Novarra's mobile software products, as well. It later bought US-based mobile application tracking and reporting service provider Motally to further enhance the wireless Web-browsing functionality of its mobile devices.
That year also saw the company bring in its first CEO from outside of Finland -- Canada native Stephen Elop, former leader of Microsoft's core business software division. – less