In 2014, the tech world will observe the iPhone’s seventh birthday and its profound impact on the personal computing marketplace. Back in 2007, the late Steve Jobs had already dazzled us with the iPod, but tech analysts and observers were mystified with the iPhone. Some journalists used terms such as “game-changer” and “disruptive” to describe the potential impact of this smartphone, and it now seems that they were right, as far as the destiny of RIM Blackberry and Nokia are concerned.
Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia and Canadian tech firm Research in Motion (RIM) should have been paying more attention to those analysts who depicted a disruptive and game-changing future after the iPhone’s arrival. Looking back at the market capitalization of those two companies over the last few years, a clear erosion of capital can be observed with each new release of Apple’s flagship product.
When the first iPhone was introduced to the market, Nokia was valued at $114.5 billion and RIM at $40 billion. Each time Apple announced a new addition to its iPhone catalog, the market capitalization of both Nokia and RIM took major hits. By the time the iPhone 4 was released back in 2010, both companies had lost more than half of their 2007 market caps.
Earlier this year, Nokia was unceremoniously acquired by Microsoft for $7.2 billion and RIM is looking for a buyer under $5 billion. To put it into a simple financial perspective, Nokia and RIM together lost more than $134 billion in market value since Apple introduced the iPhone. Of course, the iPhone has not been the sole disruptive and game-changing force in the field of mobile Internet-connected devices; the Android mobile operating system has also managed to shake up the industry quite a bit. To this end, Motorola is similar to Nokia and RIM in the sense that it eventually succumbed to Google.