The 2000s – a new era
Although Nokia was the world leader in the mobile phones market, the new decade brought along a new set of challenges for the company. The wireless and Internet technologies were converging, and the 3rd generation of wireless technology – that promised enhanced multimedia capability – was evolving.
Responding to the changes, the Finnish company started churning out both sophisticated multimedia handsets as well as low-end devices. The year 2001 saw the company launching the Nokia 7650, it’s first phone to feature a built-in camera. It was also the first to sport a full color display.
This was followed by the launch of its (as well as the world’s) first 3G phone, the Nokia 6650, in 2002.
The same year, the company also launched the Nokia 3650, the first Symbian Series 60 device to appear in the US market. It was also Nokia’s first phone to feature a video recorder.
In 2003, the company launched the Nokia 1100, a budget-friendly phone that sold around a whopping 250 million units, making it the best selling phone as well as the best selling consumer electronics product in the world. Incidentally, it was also the company’s billionth phone sold later in 2005.
The year 2003 also saw the launch of the company’s unorthodox-looking N-Gage device. Running Symbian OS 6.1 (Series 60), the phone/hand-held gaming system wasn’t much successful commercially as only 3 million units were sold.
The following year, the Nokia 7280 “lipstick” phone was launched. Part of the company’s “Fashion Phone” line, the device was listed as one of the best products of the year by Fortune Magazine. It also featured in the Pussycat Dolls’ “Beep” music video.
Midway through the decade, the company launched its N-series of phones, with the N70, N90, and N91 being the first members of the series. The flagship N8 was launched later in 2010.
With Apple launching its first-generation iPhone in 2007 and the growing popularity of touch-screen phones, Nokia outed its first all touch smartphone in 2008. Dubbed the 5800 Xpress Music, the device was also the first to run the touch-driven Symbian v9.4 (S60 5th Edition). It was decently successful as the company managed to sell around 8 million units of the device, but it didn’t manage to create die-hard following as it touch-experience was sub-par.