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Political Factors Affecting Nokia

The impact of political factors on Nokia is hard to ascertain. The company is based in the European nation of Finland,
but the Finnish government has refused to give it a bailout or special favors.[1] This forced Nokia into an uneasy
alliance with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSF) that has since fallen apart.[2]

Unlike some tech companies, Nokia lacks strong government support because it is based in a small country. This can
both help and hurt the company because it is not associated with a major power, but it might lack the political clout
of American- or Chinese-based rivals. Political unrest or other changes in China could disrupt production and limit
Nokias manufacturing capabilities in that country. This could force it to move production to higher-cost locations
such as the United States.

Economic Factors Affecting Nokia

Nokia suffered heavily from the European downturn of recent years. Economic turmoil in Europe has hurt it badly
by limiting buying power in its home markets.

Unlike Apple, Nokia has had a hard time tapping into the fast-growing Chinese market. Nokia also lacks the vast
economic resources available to some of its competitors, such as Google, Apple and Samsung. In particular, Nokia
seems to lack the research and development capabilities that have enabled these companies to develop new devices
and tap new markets. One reason why it lacks those capabilities is that Nokia simply does not have the money to
finance extensive research and developments efforts like its competitors do.

Social/Cultural Factors Affecting Nokia

The major cultural factor that has hurt Nokia has been the widespread adoption of smartphones and the growing
use of apps. Many of the most popular apps, such as WhatsApp, are designed for more popular operating systems
such as Googles Android and Apples proprietary iOS. Nokias decision to utilize the Microsoft Windows Phone
instead of Android limited its appeal to many customers.

The popular association of Apple with smartphones in some countriessuch as the United Stateshas cut deeply
into Nokias market by creating a generation of customers that only buy one brand. In more recent years, Nokia has
had to deal with the popular misconceptions that there are only two brands of smartphone in the market, Apple and
Samsung, and only two operating systems: iOS and Android. This has kept many customers from even considering
Nokia products.

Technological Factors Affecting Nokia

The technological challenges affecting Nokia are at the root of the social factors limiting its business. The
development of open sourced operating systems such as Android and the invention of apps radically changed the
mobile phone market. Mobile phones were transformed from simple communications devices into handheld

This led to a situation in which customers wanted to perform a wide variety of tasks with phones, including taking
photographs, watching streaming video and performing business functions. The problem was compounded by
Nokias decisions to utilize the less popular Windows Phone operating system and to stick with its own operating
system. This limited customers choices and made it difficult to sell Nokia products to younger consumers.

Nokia has not been able to significantly tap the potentially lucrative market for other kinds of mobile devices such
as tablets and wearable technology. This could greatly reduce its competitive edge in the future.
Legal Factors Affecting Nokia

Nokias legal environment is extremely challenging because it operates within the European Union. That bodys
regulators have been investigating Googles use of Android for a possible antitrust case.[3] EU action against Google
could lead to radical changes in Nokias market, such as Android being spun off into a separate company.

It is not clear how exactly such action would affect Nokia, but it could create a more level playing field and increase
Nokias access to the European market. One possible game changer could be that popular Google solutions such as
Gmail could be taken off of Android, which could limit its popularity.

Environmental Factors Affecting Nokia

Like other electronics manufacturers, Nokia is faced with the problem of safely and economically disposing of its
used products in an environmentally-friendly manner. One costly requirement that it could face in the years ahead
is laws making electronics manufacturers responsible for the disposal or recycling of used devices, a potentially costly
expense, particularly if the devices use lithium batteries.

Another environmental concern that could affect Nokia is increased costs for materials and components, particularly
lithium for batteries. Increased demand for lithium for other uses such as electric cars could limit its supply and raise

A long-range challenge could be climate change created by global warming, which could disrupt transoceanic
shipping and Nokias supply chain. New environmental laws in China designed to curb greenhouse gases could
increase production costs in that country and affect Nokias costs.

Political Factors That Could Affect Alphabets Future

There is widespread criticism that Google is a monopoly. This has led to antitrust action, particularly in Europe.[4]
There have been calls for Google to be broken up or for it to change the way it conducts searches.

There has also been some criticism that Google has too much control over the flow of information. Social scientists
Robert Epstein and Ronald E. Robertson have even made the claim that Googles search results could influence the
outcome of elections.[5] This could lead to calls for nationalization or stricter government oversight of Google.

Google is one of many U.S. companies that stashes cash in foreign bank accounts to avoid high American corporate
income taxes. There is growing political pressure in the United States to force these companies to bring that money
into the country. If this occurs, it could cut Googles cash flow.[6] This could also force Google to make costly foreign
acquisitions just to avoid taxes.

Additionally, Google has not been able to enter some potentially lucrative markets, such as China, because of
political reasons. This could limit the companys future growth.

Economic Factors That Could Affect Google

Alphabet has accumulated a huge amount of cash, which makes it very vulnerable to inflation. A sudden drop in the
value of a currency could reduce the companys value.

The large amount of money Google keeps overseas makes it very vulnerable to exchange rates and the currency
market. If the dollar is strong, Google could lose a lot of money if it is forced to bring a lot of cash back into the
United States. The company could also lose money if the dollar is weak because it could be forced to exchange a
stronger currency for a weak dollar.

A sudden drop in Alphabets high stock price could hurt the company by reducing its market capitalization

Social Factors That Could Affect Google

A decline in the use of traditional laptop and desktop computers, which historically have been the most popular
means of accessing Google. Tech Crunch reported that more searches were done from mobile devices than
computers for the first time during the summer of 2015.[7]

Growing use of social media solutions such as Facebook and WhatsApp for activities traditionally done on the
Internet. This includes search, streaming video, shopping and money transfer.

Google has not been able to translate its success in traditional search to other segments of the market, including
the vital shopping search. Amazon is now the top search tool for online shoppers, Forester research reported.
Around 30% of all online shoppers start their search at Amazon. That makes it hard for Google to cash in on such

A decline in traditional media such as television is forcing content providers such as TV networks and movie
studios to develop their own content delivery platforms that compete directly with YouTube. Some companies
such as Amazon are now offering video content that cannot be accessed via YouTube.

Popular suspicion and distrust of Google. Many people view Google as sinister and too powerful. Some web users
now deliberately seek out alternatives such as Duck Duck Go simply to avoid contact with Google.
Technological Factors That Are Changing Googles Business

Growing use of mobile devices to access the Internet. Some of these devices, including Apple products, have
proprietary search engines that compete with Google.

Some competitors; notably Amazon and Microsoft, have devised search algorithms that are as popular and
effective as Googles. Amazon has been able to dominate shopping research with its solution. There is a strong
possibility that a competitor could devise a better search solution than Googles at some point.

Growing sophistication of social media solutions and instant messaging. Solutions like WhatsApp and Facebook
Messenger can now be used to send news, audio messages and even streaming video. Programs like Venmo and
WeChat can be used to make financial transactions. This provides an alternative to Googles products that is not
computer based.

he growing sophistication of apps. It is easier than ever for designers to come up with alternatives to Googles

Many companies are now designing proprietary apps to allow customers to bypass search engines. Examples of
this include shopping apps.

Legal Factors That Could Affect Alphabets Business

Google is increasingly entering heavily regulated fields such as finance, insurance, telecommunications and
automobiles. This could place severe restrictions on its operations.

Liabilities and legal costs could increase as Google enters fields like insurance and experiments with delivery

Successful antitrust action in Europe could give rise to similar efforts elsewhere, particularly in the United States.
This could lead to expensive litigation and efforts to change Googles business model.

Established players in industries like insurance could use litigation in an effort to keep Google out. This could
increase legal costs and lead to court rulings that could limit Alphabets expansion.

Alphabet owns large numbers of patents. This invites litigation because of disputes over ownership.

Environmental Factors That Could Affect Alphabets Future

Googles business model is heavily dependent on data centers and other Internet infrastructure that use large
amounts of electricity. Efforts to control global warming by encouraging the use of costlier green energy sources to
produce electricity could raise Alphabets operating costs. At some point Google might not be able to offer free
services as it has in the past.
Potential Impact of Political Factors on Apple

Apple is one of a number of American technology companies that has accumulated a large amount of cash. It had
$34.7 billion in the bank on June 30, 2015. This is generating calls for higher corporate taxation in the United
States, where income inequality has become a major political issue.

Apple is heavily dependent on lower cost manufacturing in China. Social and political unrest in China could
disrupt manufacturing or increase manufacturing costs in that country. There have been also been calls to restrict
Chinese imports in the United States in an effort to boost American manufacturing.

The cost of finding alternatives to Chinese manufacturing could be high for Apple. This could lead to increased
prices for Apple products.

Apples dependence on Chinese manufacturing and markets makes it vulnerable to political unrest in that

Apple could become the target of growing nationalism and anti-Americanism in China, which could reduce its
market share.

Apples close association with China could become a political issue in countries like the United States and Japan if
China were to be perceived as a threat.

Apples dominant position in fields like music could lead to antitrust concerns and political pressure to break the
company up or limit its market share.

Potential Impact of Economic Factors on Apple

Increased labor costs in China could take away the cost advantage of some Apple products.

Stagnating middle-class incomes in some developed countries, including the United States, could shrink the
potential market for higher-end consumer goods such as those marketed by Apple.

A strong U.S. dollar could increase exchange rates, making it more expensive for Apple to do business in key
markets like Europe and China.

Potential Impact of Social Factors on Apple

The biggest growth in consumer spending in coming decades will be in areas of the world such as Africa where
people are unfamiliar with Apple products.

Consumers in those markets and younger people in Apples established markets, such as the United States, lack
the strong emotional attachment to Apple products that drive sales.

There is a backlash against expensive and stylish products among some customers in the United States and

Ethical concerns about Apples manufacturing in China could limit its products appeal among socially-conscious

Apples close association with China could offend some potential customers in other regions, such as North
America and Europe, particularly if tensions with China rise.

Apples music marketing strategy has created resentment and led to public criticism from major recording stars
that could tarnish the brands image.
Potential Impact of Technological Factors on Apple

Competitors such as Google and Samsung have demonstrated a strong ability to duplicate Apples products and
services. It took less than a year for Google to roll out a payment app; Android Pay, with the same capabilities as
Apple Pay. This means that many of Apples signature services and products are no longer unique.

The number of new consumer products Apple can bring out is limited. Many of its new offerings, such as Apple
TV, will have a limited market.

Growing use of smartphones and tablets will lower demand for Apples popular personal computers.

Apples proprietary operating system can limit the variety of applications available to smartphone users.

The growing capabilities of cyber criminals make Apples systems less secure and take away one of its strongest
competitive advantages: its reputation for high levels of security and safety.

Potential Impact of Legal Factors on Apple

Apple has recently entered the highly regulated financial services sector via Apple Pay. This could increase the
level of regulation and government oversight it faces.[2]

By offering financial services, Apple could face increased levels of litigation.

News reports indicate that Apple is planning to enter another highly-regulated sector: automobile
manufacturing.[3] Entering the auto business could increase regulatory, insurance and litigation costs at Apple.

Apple depends on a variety of products covered by intellectual property laws, such as software and music, for
much of its income. This leaves the company highly vulnerable to both piracy and litigation.

Potential Impact of Environmental Factors on Apple

The biggest environmental issue facing Apple is the disposal of used or nonworking electronic devices. The
expense of disposing of devices, particularly those containing lithium batteries, could be high. Apple could be
forced to assume that expense because of concerns about such devices in landfills.

Pollution and other environmental side effects from manufacturing facilities in China are a growing concern. This
could lead to increased regulation and higher manufacturing costs at some point in the future.

Chinas efforts to cut greenhouse gases and limit fossil fuel use could increase electricity rates and manufacturing
costs for Apple in that country.

Climate change created by global warming could disrupt transoceanic shipping and Apples supply chain.

Concern about energy use and other side effects from data centers could lead to increased regulation and costs.

Apple is highly vulnerable to increases in electricity costs because of its dependence on data centers and other
Internet infrastructure