New Delhi: Over a year after the acquisition was first announced, Microsoft is officially replacing the Nokia Lumia brand. In a blog post today, the software giant revealed its upcoming smartphones will now be known as Microsoft Lumia. The new Microsoft branding will appear on future phones from the company, with a plain black version of the company’s four-squared logo also set to make an appearance.
Thus, Nokia phone brand took another step towards the grave on Tuesday, with Microsoft Corp., its new master, attaching its name to the Lumia range of smartphones, starting in France.
A message on the Facebook page of Nokia Lumia in France said, “In the coming days, you will receive a message from Facebook about changing the name of this page. We are on the verge of becoming Microsoft Lumia!” The company also posted information about the change on Twitter.
According to the Verge news report, the new branding would be rolled out for other regions in the coming weeks. The branding change has been quietly under way for a while.
The changes had begun to happen when Microsoft bought the handset division of Nokia. The regional Nokia websites redirect users to the Microsoft site where the Lumia handsets are listed under mobile devices. Microsoft has already renamed Nokia apps for Lumia.
Last month, GeeksonGadget obtained an internal communication memo of Microsoft which hinted at a planned phase-out of the Nokia brand. It said, “As part of our phased transition, we will drop the manufacturer name [Nokia] from product references during the Holiday campaign,” said one of the slides. The report also mentioned that the unreleased phones may not bear the Nokia branding.
This might mean that latest handsets Lumia 730 and Lumia 830, both released at the IFA 2014, will be the last ones to bear the Nokia branding.
Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft announced in September 2013 that it is would acquire the Finnish firm’s handset division for $7.5 billion. The deal was concluded this year in April.
Nokia will, however, continue to exist as a company focusing on its map and locations solutions called Here and network infrastructure.
In September, Barry French, executive vice president, marketing and corporate affairs, Nokia said in an official blog post that “Nokia is a global leader in the mapping and location business and has a stellar intellectual property portfolio.”
It remains unclear is how Microsoft plans to roll out branding on the new and upcoming Windows phones. Currently, the Lumia series come with Nokia logo on the back and front of the phone. Either it would be Microsoft Lumia or simply Lumia.
However, Tuula Rytilä, Microsoft’s SVP of Marketing for Phones, says the company is looking to unveil its first own-brand Lumia phone “soon.” Rytilä is also keen to note that the change in nomenclature will not affect the support of current Nokia devices. Although the Nokia name will no longer be used for smartphones, low-end phones — the company calls out the Nokia 130 — will still be sold under the banner. Nokia still has brand cachet in Europe and developing markets, and it’s likely that Microsoft will continue to exploit that fact for years to come.