Named in 1871 after the Nokianvirta river where mining engineer Fredrik Idestam set up his second paper mill, Nokia spent more than a century making tyres, boots or cables before producing the first handheld mobile phone, the Mobira Cityman, in 1987.
Nicknamed the "Gorba" after former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was pictured using one, it weighed a thumping 800 grams and carried an even more daunting price tag - 24,000 Finnish marks (€4,650).
In 1992, Nokia sold off its non-mobile divisions and launched its first digital handheld GSM phone, the Nokia 1011.
The basic Nokia 1100, launched in 2003, was a runaway hit, shifting 250 million units, making it not just the world's best-selling mobile, but the most popular consumer electronics device of any kind.
Nokia remained the world's largest vendor of mobile phones until knocked off the top spot by Samsung in 2012, but it lost its lead in the lucrative smartphone market a year earlier, having been on the back foot since the launch of Apple's iPhone in 2007.
Nokia unveiled its first Windows Phone handsets, the Lumia 710 and 800, in October 2011 after a strategic decision by new chief executive Stephen Elop to ditch its own ailing Symbian operating system in favour of the Microsoft equivalent.
Nokia picked up the pace of product launches in 2013, including the unveiling of its Lumia 1020 with a 41-megapixel camera. Also this year, it announced a €15 phone, its cheapest phone ever.
Although Nokia also said in July it had shipped 7.4 million Lumia smartphones in the second quarter, up 32% from the first quarter, it was fewer than the 8.1 million units analysts had anticipated.
Nokia now boasts only around 15% of the handset market share, with an even smaller 3% share in smartphones.