2003 – 2010
Nokia entered the game console market in 2003 with the N-Gage hand held game device. Nokia wanted to expand into other markets and felt they could take market share away from Nintendo’s Game Boy. However, by the end of 2010 Nokia exited this market to focus on their ailing phone market.
Above: Nokia Ngage Game Device
With the advent of the iPhone, Nokia’s market share has fallen every year. In 2010, Nokia signed up with Microsoft to replace their Symbian OS with Windows Mobile operating system.
Nokia’s entry into the mobile space made a lot of sense in the 1990s. Mobile phones were no longer being used as phones. Mobile phones were now being used for as social media tools and video game devices. However, Nokia launched the device with a price tag of $299 and did not get the sales figures Nokia had hoped for.
Nokia set out to take away market share form Nintendo, but set a price tags of 299 for a device that only plays video games. Devices north of $250 usually are multipurpose devices like the based on a compact mobile platform like the iPod Touch, iPhone or Android smart phones.
Adding mobile phone functionality to a larger game device appeared backwards to many consumers and was not deemed cool.
the classic N-Gage game device was not the easiest game device to hold despite being a hand held.
The N-Gage had many features and functionality for developers and end-users including a large amount of executable RAM . It also had a MP3 decoder in a dedicated hardware chip. Other features include stereo output and output to a USB Mass Storage device.
Above: Nokia Ngage Game Device 2.0 Platform
Nokia changed the concept of the game device. They were planning on putting N-Gage inside several of their smartphone devices rather than releasing the over sized game device with a phone in it.
In 2008, Nokia released the new N-Gage platform in a semi beta state as not all features were available, much in the same way that Microsoft release Windows mobile 7 and Apple released the iPad 1 and iPhone 1. However, in November 2009, Nokia announced that it was discontinuing the N-Gage service and was exiting the market.