Although the Microsoft / Nokia deal is still far from being completed, there may be a sign of what the purchase can mean for future Lumia phones. The International Business Times has posted a somewhat dubious example of this in citing a recent full-page advert appearing in a major newspaper.
The ad from the Telegraph, appearing on September 13, is a simple announcement from Microsoft on the planned Nokia purchase. The headline “The Microsoft family will be getting bigger. And smarter.” refers to Nokia’s smart devices and is a standard corporate statement. Companies often make big announcements like this through full page ads and there is nothing extraordinary about it.
There is one curious aspect that caught the eye of IBTimes and that is the elimination of ‘Nokia’ from the Lumia 520 pictured in the ad. Normally the Nokia logo appears at the center-top of the phone, however for the message of the ad, it was digitally removed. The apps have also been replaced, focusing on Microsoft's brands rather than Nokia's.
Ad appearing in the Telegraph via IBTimes (compared to stock image, right)
A sign of things to come? We think IBTimes are making more of this than needs to be. For one, the Lumia 520 and forthcoming devices will continue to feature the Nokia name, at least until the purchase is approved by the various regulatory agencies involved. That process is not expected to be completed until early 2014.
Second, it’s not at all clear what path Microsoft will take with the Nokia / Lumia brand. Outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer remarked that in purchasing Nokia “1 brand, looks better than the "Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 1020" which has been confusing for consumers.” Clearly Microsoft will want to reduce branding redundancy, which is one of the main factors for the $7.2 billion purchase.
Nokia also clarified how Microsoft now owns the ‘Lumia’ brand and can optionally use ‘Nokia’ for non-smartphone devices. But still, no firm commitments on how a Nokia engineered phone will be labeled by Microsoft going forward.
The conclusion we can reach is that Microsoft simply took some artistic license for the ad. While it is a sign of ownership and Microsoft putting their mark on the Lumia line, we wouldn’t quite take it as a roadmap on re-branding just yet. That part is still to come.
Nevertheless, for one company to remove the logo of another serves as a reminder of just how big of a deal this really is.