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Nokia's interesting and diverse history started over 150 years ago. While today Nokia is known for mobile phones, in its early days the company was involved in forest management, the timber industry, and tissue paper production.
Nokia later branched out into the rubber industry, specialising in the production of rubber boots and tires, before eventually extending their portfolio to the production of cables. Around 1930, the company began constructing the first telephone and telecommunications networks, and in the fifties produced coaxial cables for radio and television broadcast networks.
After moving the company's headquarters to the Finnish capital Helsinki, Nokia began to focus on mobile phones roughly around 1980. This new direction followed corporate acquisitions and the subsequent economic crisis, after which came an extensive restructuring of the company and a clear new strategy whereby Nokia moved away from marginally profitable product lines (until then they had produced TVs, radios, and computers under the name MikroMikko, which were very popular in Finland).
The first Nokia mobile phone, called the Nokia 101, soon hit the market. Two years later, the new Nokia 2100 arrived. In 1998, the legendary Nokia 5110 became available. Another milestone was reached in 2002, when the first Nokia mobile phone with support for 3G networks hit the shops.
Although the transformation of the company was quite drastic (n 1968, Nokia had 45 divisions; today it consists of only two) focussing on mobile technology proved to be a great decision. In the mid-nineties, Nokia saw unprecedented growth in sales, with turnover increasing tenfold in the last twenty years. Nokia employed almost 60,000 employees worldwide, with almost every second person owning a Nokia phone. Nokia was the market leader in mobile phones until Steve Jobs' changed everything with the first iPhone.
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