7,444 $m
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop hoped for a turnaround this past year, counting on the Lumia to renew the brand and the Asha line to drive sales of lower-end products—a big bet that didn’t pay off, and led to Microsoft’s USD $7.2 billion offer to acquire Nokia’s cellphone business. While Nokia’s hardware designs earn positive reviews, its software tends to fall short of expectations, which is problematic at a time when competitors are stepping up their game in this area. Though Nokia’s exclusive tie-up with the Windows Phone operating system differentiated it from most other manufacturers that went with Android, the “third ecosystem” offers less than a quarter of the apps offered by rivals Apple and Google, including popular ones like Instagram. Indeed, a steep drop in handset sales, down 32 percent in Q2 2013 compared to the same quarter in 2012, suggests that the operating system lacks relevance for consumers. Since many smartphone buyers tend to follow the pack, the fact that just three percent of buyers are purchasing Windows Phones poses a big challenge for Nokia. As the industry’s leader in sustainability, the Finnish giant could have benefited from making “green” a key purchase driver. Now that Nokia is getting out of the phone business, perhaps sisu (a driving indomitable spirit that is key to Finnish culture) will help transform its new owner.