Nokia name to go away with the Lumia line as Microsoft seeks to unify branding

Nokia has taken to their Conversations blog this morning to answer some questions regarding the recent Microsoft announcement. The most frequently asked inquiries were taken to Tuula Rytilä, who heads up Nokia’s marketing, for clarification on exactly what is happening going forward.

For the most part, Nokia illuminates questions on branding transition, including the relevant “Nokia Lumia” name. The Microsoft-Nokia deal transfers the name “Nokia” over for mobile phone use to Microsoft for ten years, along with the ‘Lumia’ and ‘Asha’ brands, which will be owned by Microsoft.

But as pointed out during the conference call yesterday, Microsoft is taking this opportunity to streamline their branding. In other words, saying ‘Nokia Lumia 1020 with Windows Phone 8’ or any variation will eventually become a thing of the past. What it will be, remains to be seen but it’s clear that ‘Nokia’ won’t be used in future Lumia devices. In fact, it’s not even clear that ‘Lumia’ will be used either, though it could be phased out.

A modernized brand could help Microsoft in pushing its hardware to carriers and customers. A ‘Windows Phone 1020’ is certainly a lot simpler than the current naming conventions, which are made redundant with the presently separate products lines. Likewise for a ‘Microsoft Lumia 1020’, should Redmond opt to downplay the OS. It will also signify a true merger of the hardware and software, with little distinction.

Tuula Rytilä

Nokia's Tuula Rytilä (via Conversations)

Rytilä answers some other questions, including continued support and whether or not we can believe Microsoft will maintain the quality engineering that we’ve come to expect form Nokia. Here, Rytilä uses an interesting anecdote about the two teams:

“Microsoft and Nokia have very similar values and vision when it comes to product quality. It’s what has made Nokia Lumia and Windows Phone such a great match. We value great hardware quality, a seamless user experience.I recall a recent product workshop where we split into Nokia and Microsoft teams to describe our vision for the next generation of Windows Phone. When we came to compare our lists, they were almost identical.Design at Nokia is our approach to product making and embraces engineering and manufacture. It’s the expertise in that approach that distinguishes Nokia and made it something that Microsoft wanted.”

Interestingly, the Asha brand will continue on its entry-level path with the Nokia name, serving as an on ramp for smartphone purchases, but Microsoft will be bringing features like SkyDrive, Office and even Xbox to the line as well.

Finally, Rytilä notes that the key Research and Development sites in Finland: Salo, Tampere and Oulu, will remain as that “nucleus” is what the acquisition is about. That should bode well for engineers and the research scientists at Nokia who won’t be faced with a “move or quit” option, ensuring a smoother transition.

Still, like all things, intentions and realities are often two different things. We won’t see the effects of this takeover for quite some time and there are a lot of details that remain unanswered.

Source: Nokia Conversations

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.