Microsoft Not Sure About Branding for Nokia Smartphones

by Dale Wright

Microsoft Windows Phone

Microsoft Executive Vice President for Nokia devices Stephen Elop has admitted this week that he is still undecided on what to name the company’s recently acquired Nokia smartphone line.

The technology company’s acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services division was completed last Friday (25 April), meaning that Microsoft can now look forward to the future of its smartphones business.  Nokia held a Conversation Live Q&A with Elop on Monday (28 April) where he discussed Microsoft’s smartphone branding plan.

Elop explained that Microsoft could keep the Nokia branding for upcoming smartphones for the time being, but that probably wouldn’t be a long term idea.  Elop said: “The Nokia brand is available to Microsoft to use for its mobile phones products for a period of time, but Nokia as a brand will not be used for long going forward for smartphones.”

Nokia Windows Phone 8

In the long-term, Microsoft will merge the two companies to create a consistent, overall brand.  Elop insisted that the Windows Phone and Nokia names wouldn’t be combined to create a long, unwieldy moniker.  He said: “I can assure you that it will not be the ‘Nokia Lumia 1020 with Windows Phone on the AT&T LTE Network’… too many words! That somehow doesn’t roll off the tongue.”

Regarding the difference in Nokia and Microsoft’s current branding, Elop stressed that the company’s personality wouldn’t be lost by the acquisition.  Microsoft’s devices are traditionally black and sleek, while Nokia favors the bright and colorful look.  Nokia released an advert on YouTube to show that it’s still committed to its colorful devices, so Lumia fans don’t need to worry yet.

What does this represent for Nokia now?  Hopefully we’ll start seeing some more great smartphones coming out of Windows.  Back in 2013, Microsoft reported that its Windows Phone had doubled its share of the European smartphone market.  It’s still not a major player yet, but that might be set to change over the next year.