In 2004, Nokia (NYSE:NOK) still was a mobile leader. It was the world’s No. 1 cell phone manufacturer and held nearly 30% of the market. So why would it release the N-Gage — a monstrous combination of smartphone, MP3 player and portable gaming system? And why would it ship as a GSM phone that was incompatible with Verizon (NYSE:VZ), then the largest wireless provider in the U.S.?
The N-Gage actually lasted through several iterations and reportedly sold 2 million units in total, though $100 discounts at GameStop (NYSE:GME) didn’t hurt.