First what does innovation mean ?
Innovation is the application of new solutions that meet new requirements, inarticulate needs, or existing market needs.
While something novel is often described as an innovation, in economics, management science and other fields of practice and analysis it is generally considered a process that brings together various novel ideas in a way that they have an impact on society.
Innovation differs from invention in that innovation refers to the use of a better and, as a result, novel idea or method, whereas invention refers more directly to the creation of the idea or method itself.
Innovation differs from improvement in that innovation refers to the notion of doing something different rather than doing the same thing better.
- Nokia saw the need for a major re-branding and went with brightly inherent colored phones made from high quality polycarbonate materials , in an era your phones were limited to white or black it was a welcome change indeed.
HTC immediately followed suit and only in its Windows Phone line up which lead to the feeling that they intentionally went for colors to get Lumia sales. Samsung followed with colors too releasing 5 new colors for the Galaxy S3 and later for Galaxy S4 (though the colors were dim and ugly for the most part) , even the next budget iPhone is rumored to come in colorful plastic.
- Nokia has always been the leading OEM in the camera technology with exclusive Carl Zeiss optics, They ushered three eras of mobile photography , the first was the era of optical zoom 6 years ago in the Nokia N93 and the second was with the unheard of 41MP on smartphones with oversampling, and most recently Optical Image Stabilization (both less than six months apart). HTC also immediately put OIS in the “HTC ONE” although their implementation was half-assed at best, Samsung also felt jealous of the 41mp on the 808 and the 41 + OIS on the Lumia 1020 and ended up releasing two mediocre camera bulked phones.
Sony is also trying to fight the 41mp with leaks about an upcoming 21mp Honami phone everywhere.
- Nokia emphasizing the cloud based nature of WP and the Microsoft ecosystem with its minimalist Fabula design thought of a future where wires are almost completely extinct , It pushed wireless charging with built in support and snap on covers and over 5 exclusive wireless chargers , HTC followed suit , Google nexus 4 and recently Google new Nexus 7 also their wireless chargers is a bit hated.
- Nokia was the first to put NFC in a commercial phone , and even in smartphones , its the first company to forget about mobile payments and instead focus NFC on pairing easily with gadgets and other phones. Google followed suit immediately.
Nokia created the dual antenna method to get better reception in metallic phones , Apple claimed it designed it in their Iphone 4S , they settled the case against them and Nokia got lots of perks from Apple.Edit: unfounded for the dual antenna , thanks for the awesome commenter that corrected me.
- Nokia pushed for a swiped gestured mobile experience; Harmattan , it was so successful that it was followed and improved upon by Blackberry10 and later on Jolla/Sailfish. (also on the Nokia N9 they created a beta app called Air UI , which basically is the father of the Samsung Galaxy S4 air gestures.
- Nokia introduced the first phone with Synaptic’s Super Sensitive Touch technology. Samsung followed.
- Nokia bought Scalado an imaging software company that made lots of cool tricks , Blackberry licensed their tech and used it in Blackberry 10 , while Samsung bluntly copied almost all of the imaging suit in the new Galaxy s4. (even Zoe in the HTC one copied a feature or two (lets say imitated because its not completely the same and obvious as the Samsung.
- Nokia jump started high quality audio recordings in videos , which made shooting concerts and nature scenes AMAZINGLY rich and wonderful. HTC seeking the same experience used a chip designed by Nokia with St Ericsson however it turned out ST Ericsson was the one who was in fault.
- Nokia came to the conclusion that using maps is most necessary in travel, which meant high data rates or out of coverage roads. this is why they were the first to offer true offline turn by turn navigation and maps , they made offline maps for entire countries !!! . Google only followed that by manually caching the areas you want , which works great for a town , not really for unplanned travel and the areas you can cache is very limited you’ll need to cache three of maybe 20 times if you’re on a big trip across Europe for example.
There are lots of areas where Nokia excels that go unnoticed. please share those i haven’t mentioned in the comments section
Also we acknowledge that Nokia can and have followed other companies too, many design elements in the Nokia N9 were inspired by the simplicity of the Iphone , folders for example were almost taken out completely from the Iphone.