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The Finn’s finale

Published: 
Monday, May 19, 2014
Bit Depth
In 2006, Nokia had a Web-ready tablet called the 770 Internet Tablet. Like so many of the company’s best ideas, almost nobody ever heard about it. PHOTO: MARK LYNDERSAY

I’m quite fond of that very old Trini saying, “time is longer than twine.”

 

You’ve got to be of a certain vintage to have even heard it, but I’ve found it to be a deliciously succinct way of measuring the relentless march of days against the enthusiasms and vagaries of people’s efforts to bring order to their lives.

 

The aphorism resonated while I looked through my notes from Nokia’s Open Studio, the company’s huge engagement with world media in April 2006 in Berlin.

 

It was a remarkable time for the company. The iPhone was a year away, and no hint of it existed in the technology landscape.

 

Nokia was up against Palm, whose early smartphone hadn’t kept pace with consumer expectations and the software platform was faltering.

 

Nokia was confident they could step into that space and conquer it. The company boasted that of the 50 million smartphones in use globally by Q4, 2005, Nokia held 54 per cent of the market.

 

Between November 2005 and July 2007, Nokia would buy Intellisync Corporation, Loudeye music distribution, Twango, a media sharing solution and merge with Siemens to create their famed NoHo facility in Espoo, Finland.

 

The acquisitions would continue until 2012, the company snapping up Enpocket, Navteq, OZ Communications, Plum Ventures, Novarra, MetaCarta, Smarterphone and Scalada, spending billions on products that disappeared into the company’s maw.

 

Reporting from Nokia’s Open Studio in Berlin is archived here (http://ow.ly/wYTFw) and here (http://ow.ly/wYTHi).