The end of Nokia

The writing is pretty much on the wall for the Finnish phonemaker which now faces a break up and eventual absorption. But who is going to be Nokia's new owner?

There is no shortage of information about what happens to companies in distress. The cause of distress varies widely and is often not well understood but the actions and symptoms of distress are very consistent. We can look at examples in each industry, even in each product category for a rich set of distressed company data.

For over a year I’ve been chronicling the decline of incumbents in the mobile phone industry. However, decline cannot continue indefinitely. At some point a company “exits” the industry. Either through a sale or divestiture or, rarely, bankruptcy. The list of exits is already long. The length and the correlation between exit and the lack of recovery implies that Nokia will also exit.

But how, exactly?

Will Nokia be acquired? If so, then by whom? What other options exist? How can we analyse this?

The easiest way to guess is to look at what happened to other companies in similar circumstances. The clearest and easiest comparison to apply is Motorola. Motorola was at one time the largest phone vendor and it went through a violent decline.

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