Blog Post

The Mobile 15: Our picks for the most innovative companies


CEO: Stephen Elop

Number of employees: 122,148

The business:

Starting as a pulp mill in 1865, Nokia now  designs and creates mobile phones, which it sells directly and through carriers or retailers. The company also partners with Siemens in a joint networking infrastructure company.

The backstory:

Nokia  was the no. 1 seller of mobile phones every year between 1998 and 2011. It sold well-designed and -built handsets with hundreds of models available to meet practically every need. Using the Symbian platform, Nokia was synonymous with the phrase “mobile phone” in most regions of the world. The company helped develop the worldwide GSM standard for mobile telecommunications and has numerous patents related to cellular communication. Samsung passed them just year and they’re in danger of being passed by others true. But this year for the first time, Nokia was passed by Samsung as the leader in phone sales.

The innovation:

Nokia has tried to reinvent itself by dropping Symbian in 2011 and partnering with Microsoft to build Windows Phones. While this transition has yet to stem Nokia’s lost market share from Apple, Samsung and others, it has created a leaner, more nimble smartphone company. That has led to various innovations such as Nokia’s PureView smartphone cameras with floating lenses for advanced image stabilization. Nokia’s mapping technology has advanced as well, with support for both offline maps and navigation. The company has also increased the refresh rate on its displays, bringing a blur-free and fast response to end users.

The plan:

With Nokia’s transition to Windows Phone now complete, the company plans to make a big marketing push for its new phones. Success in the U.S. may be initially measured by carrier support. The company will continue to develop new smartphone technologies and bring the PureView camera system to future models.


14 Responses to “The Mobile 15: Our picks for the most innovative companies”

  1. Including Nokia and **not** Qualcomm renders your list laughable, and from the entire staff to boot ? No need reading any further and further questions the value of anything

    Jim M

  2. Surya Narayanan

    Sadly you have not looked at the emerging markets hard enough. You would have found very interesting examples including Safaricom’s m-pesa which is by the larger than Western Union Money Transfer. Please look to create a more inclusive list..

    • mobithinking1

      It would have been good to consider the social impact of innovations. There are so many innovative mobile companies out there, but if they don’t make people’s lives better then do they really answer the “so what?” test. M-PESA is a great example of a mobile innovation that has changed millions of people’s lives and is helping to create a vibrant mobile ecosystem. Its influence can be seen in every mobile wallet/banking/payments initiative the world over.
      If you don’t know M-PESA, read this: