Remember Nokia, the former networking giant that helped usher in a brand-new era of mobile communication? It appears that the former mobile giant is switching its area of focus to include the health industry and patent licensing. The question, however, is why?
Not The First Time
In the past, Nokia went from a company retailing in network communications to a company that concentrated on health and image processing.
It appears that Nokia is switching its business target once again, as it has decided to do away with its virtual reality camera – OZO – and engross itself in health products and patent licenses.
As part of its business restructuring plan, Nokia is laying off approximately 310 employees, roughly 35% of the 1,090 employees the company currently employs. Most of the employees that are being laid off are from plants and offices based out of the U.S., U.K., and Finland.
Nokia management has stated that it would do its best to facilitate the new transition into the digital health market and would take care of those employees that are going to be adversely affected by the change.
The company has also said that the reason for switching its focus of operations from virtual technologies to digital health systems was because the virtual reality market is currently moving too slowly to profit from.
Nokia used to be the biggest mobile phone company in the world until the iPhone and Android came along. Microsoft eventually bought out Nokia’s mobile business but was not successful in resuscitating it to the point of profitability again.
While Nokia tried to come back to its former glory days recently with its VR Cameras, it seems to have given up its hopes on that venture most likely due to previous lessons it has learned from selling hardware.
In 2015, Nokia decided to enter the VR market. At that point, it was recognized that Nokia had one of the best photo-imaging capabilities among all smartphones. It made sense then to take it to the next level with virtual reality technologies.
In doing so, the company probably hoped to return back to its former glory days in the hardware market. However, Nokia soon saw very early in the game that there would never be a huge market for its VR cameras if virtual reality technology did not take off like a rocket ship.
The technology that went into their cameras was so expensive that the end-product retailed at $60,000, a price not well-suited for the average electronic consumer.
Is Nokia a washed up company just trying to survive an inevitable disaster? If history predicts the future, Nokia is anything but finished.
Over a year ago, the company purchased French Smart, a health product creation company and leader in the health-device market. It has already incorporated most of their products into its own product line and is continuing to work with the company’s creative department to come u with more health-related widgets.
What is more, Bell Labs, Nokia’s technology department, continues to design unique inventions that help to revolutionize the communications and electronics industry. In the past, this department was responsible for coming up with patents that helped the company stay afloat while it focused its operations on more profitable markets.