Helsinki - The Nokia story is one of an astonishing rise and a calamitous fall.
The Finnish company that began in 1865 as a paper manufacturer and made the transition to rubber boots and car tyres became by the late 1990s the dominant global player in the manufacture of mobile phones.
The sale of its mobile unit to Microsoft means that Nokia has abandoned the market that the company once indelibly set its mark on.
The worldwide spread of the GSM mobile network laid the cornerstone for Nokia's success.
The first call over the digital GSM network was made with Nokia equipment in 1991, and Nokia's first GSM mobile followed the next year.
By 1998 Nokia had pushed the originator of the mobile phone, US company Motorola, from the top position in the market.
At the time the sale of 37.4 million phones a year translated into a market share of 22.9 per cent.
A long period of Nokia dominance had begun.
The mobile phone market grew year by year, and a third of those phones were Nokias.
The Finns also dominated the tiny smartphone market at the beginning with their Symbian system, achieving market shares above 50 per cent.
Then came the iPhone.
Nokia managers initially dismissed the challenge from the Apple mobile, given the huge difference in sales.
But the iPhone, and later Google's Android operating system, revolutionised the market.
Touchscreens and apps were the new trend, and Nokia was left behind.
Its decision to switch from Symbian to Microsoft's Windows Phone at the start of 2011 was a sign of desperation.
And at the beginning of 2012 Samsung pushed the Finns from the top spot after 14 years. - Sapa-dpa