Microsoft’s acquisition of the Nokia handset division is now complete from a regulatory perspective, but there are lots of questions on the table regarding branding and proper names. For instance, the new name of the former-Nokia division in Microsoft is Microsoft Mobile (the ‘Oy’ just means ‘Ltd.’).
But what about the name Nokia on Lumia phones?
The question is a legitimate one as the brand Nokia certainly carries more weight than Microsoft in many parts of the world (although the opposite is true in the US). So far, Microsoft has been unclear on what will happen with the name, but the official @Nokia Twitter account is now saying that the name ‘Nokia’ will still appear on new products for “some time”.
In a response to a direct question about the naming scheme from dated April 25, @Nokia responded with an affirmative on the label continuation:
“We’ll continue with Nokia-branded products, as Microsoft has licensed the Nokia brand for some time”
In a follow up question regarding Lumia devices specifically, @Nokia answered:
“Yes. Lumia, Asha and Nokia X ranges”
That sounds quite definitive to us, although we suppose with the complications in merging teams, specifics could be lost along the way. For now though, it sounds like we’ll have future Nokia Lumia phones, but technically “made by” Microsoft Mobile. Such a move makes sense for marketing reasons, as a clean cut transition in branding could easily backfire, whereas a gradual changeover away from the Nokia brand would be preferred.
In a question to Stephen Elop during today's AMA, Elop answered the question about names:
"...but Nokia as a brand will not be used for long going forward for smartphones. Work is underway to select the go forward smartphone brand"
So how long the name Nokia will be used is unclear, though it may be decided upon by feedback from consumers and when Microsoft feels their brand is strong enough to stand on its own. In other words, the usage of ‘Nokia’ is not perpetual. That’s especially true since Nokia as its own company, running the HERE Maps and other smaller divisions, will continue separately from Microsoft.
We’ve reached out Microsoft for comment about the usage of Nokia on future Lumia phones and will follow up accordingly.