Alarm Bells Ringing: Nokia in 2010

Alarm Bells Ringing: Nokia in 2010
Case Code: BSTR386
Case Length: 20 Pages
Period: 2009-2010
Pub Date: 2011
Teaching Note: Not Available
Price: Rs.600
Organization: Nokia Corporation
Industry: Mobile Phone
Countries: Global
Themes: Competition
Alarm Bells Ringing: Nokia in 2010
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


This case study is about the challenges faced by Stephen Elop (Elop), the newly appointed president and CEO of the world's leading mobile phone maker Nokia Corporation (Nokia). The year 2010 has been a tough one for Nokia as its profit margins have shrunk and the company faced a threat to its market leader position. For the second quarter ended June 30, 2010, Nokia reported a sharp drop in profits. Analysts felt that the company's problems started in 2007 when Nokia began to lose customers in the high-end mobile phone market as it struggled to create a compelling smartphone portfolio amid competition from a host of rivals. Moreover, the Finnish phone maker failed to establish its presence in the world's largest smartphone market – the US.

Nokia's huge market in the low-end part of the market was, in part, blamed for its negative image in more developed markets such as the US and among people who wanted high-end phones. In the smartphone OS market too, competitors were catching up quickly on Nokia's Symbian platform.


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives

  • Examine the reasons for the problems faced by Nokia in 2010
  • Analyze how Nokia can make its products competitive, foster innovation and regain its market share
  • Examine the challenges faced by Elop in achieving his objective
  • Explore strategies that Elop could adopt in these difficult times



Market Leadership, Competition, Mobile Phone Market, Smartphone Market, Innovation, Global Strategy, Leadership, Organizational Culture, Change Management, Strategic Options, Implementation of Strategy, Turnaround Strategy, Business-level Strategy, Competitive Strategy, Nokia

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