These 10 Tech Giants Failed in the Mobile Business

In 2017, the competition in the smartphone industry was fierce with over 700 smartphone brands vying for attention. Well, that number has dwindled to around 250 active brands.

And the casualties of the competitive landscape aren’t startups, but some once-iconic tech giants who struggled, but failed to maintain relevance in the mobile business.

Does the market condemn brands to a metaphorical death row?

Interesting times.

Let’s see what happened to these 10 tech giants and how they were forced out of the mobile business.


Renowned for its physical keyboards, Blackberry, was once immensely popular in the early smartphone era. However, it failed to adapt to the touchscreen revolution led by Apple and Samsung.

And in 2016, Blackberry transitioned into a cybersecurity service firm.


A former titan in mobile phones, Nokia faced a fate similar to Blackberry.

After selling its mobile phone business to Microsoft and later licensing it to HMD Global, the business struggled to regain its former glory.

HMD now manages Nokia’s smartphone operations, relying on outsourcing to manufacture devices across several countries.


Another once-prominent player in the smartphone market. LG announced the cessation of its mobile phone business in 2021.

Challenged by intense competition and changing consumer preferences in the smartphone business, the company began focusing on emerging technologies.


Siemens experienced a decline in market share, eventually joining the list of tech giants that failed in the mobile business.

Siemens sold its mobile business to BenQ. BenQ-Mobile, in turn, faced financial troubles and went bankrupt within a year, illustrating the volatility of the industry.


Ericsson’s mobile handset business also faced challenges. It resorted to a joint venture with Sony.

But that deal did not last long. Ericsson ultimately became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Japanese company.


A former market leader, Motorola struggled against competitors like Apple and Samsung.

It later sold out its wireless network assets to Google, then to Lenovo.


It may be surprising to see America’s tech giant on the list of the biggest failures. The company entered the smartphone arena through the acquisition of Nokia’s mobile phone business

Multi-million companies that have closed shops in Kenya

However, Microsoft failed to gain traction with its Lumia line due to the unpopularity of its operating systems.


Amazon is known for disrupting industries couldn’t replicate its success in smartphones with the Fire Phone, which suffered from limited app support and a high price tag.


These stories highlight the ruthlessness of the smartphone market, where innovation and adaptability are crucial for survival.

Perhaps these are times to think of the global market’s evolution as a fascinating case study in technological disruption.

It’s a game of success or failure where;

Adaptation leads to success; rigidity invites obsolescence.

Denish Aloo

I'm a tech enthusiast with a deep-rooted passion for digital technology and an interest in entrepreneurship. I see endless business opportunities in the modern digital revolution.

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