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Finland Shifts It’s Gaze From Nokia to Angry Birds

Finnish cell phone manufacturer Nokia has stood as one of the best in the world for over a decade.  At it’s strongest point in 2000 Nokia accounted for 4% of Finland’s gross domestic product.  With the onslaught of Android based phones and the iPhone’s release around the world that GDP shrunk to 1.6% last year.  In 2007 Nokia had a profit of 7.2 billion dollars, last year they only did 1.6 billion.

Nokia knows that they are sinknig fast but have stayed steadfast in their ways. Even though the Symbian Foundation, an incubator of sorts for the platform and developers, shut it’s doors (and it’s website next month) Nokia is still insistent that the platform will take them to the next level.  In areas where they don’t feel Symbian will work they are confident that Mee-Go will.

Nokia has been one of the largest companies in Finland in both money and work-force.  Finland has the fastest aging population in the world.  Currently 1 in 4 working Finns supports every pensioner. At the rate things are going Finland is preparing for 1 in 3 Finns to be supporting their countries pensioners as soon as 2015.

Finland often looked at entreupreneurs as “misfits” and people who couldn’t get a job.  As of late that opinion has changed.  To help compensate for the Nokia’s decline the country has boosted research funding for “innovators”to more than 60 million euros.

Although they don’t yet have one software program to identify the country as Skype is to the Danish world and Spotify is to Sweden but Angry Birds is quickly becoming that piece of software.  Just like IKEA and LEGO have been to Sweden, Nokia has been that company to Finland.  The three Finnish college buddies who started Rovio mobile are hoping they also become that company.

Rovio was founded in 2003 by three students that met at the Helsinki University of Technology.  Niklas Hed, Jarno Vakevainen and Kim Dikert participated in a mobile game development challenge held by Nokia.  Prior to the blockbuster success of Angry Birds, the team had released 51 other games, mostly for Nokia, before the Angry Birds phenomen.

At a Virtual Goods event earlier this month in London, Rovios Mighty Eagle (Marketing Officer), Peter Vesterbecka eluded to a possible sequel of Angry Birds to thunderous applause. To date they’ve done more than 36 million downloads.

Nokia’s own board member, Risto Siilasmaa, who owns company F-Secue, a Finnish Data security company, doesn’t see another Nokia but “10 or 100 F-secures.. and Angry Birds”

With Finlands new commitment to innovators and entreupreneurs their economy won’t suffer as badly as it has with the fall of Nokia.

Source: Bloomberg

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