The Nokia brand is officially out of the mobile phone game.
Microsoft has announced that it is officially phasing out the Nokia brand from its phone business, less than a year after it acquired the Nordic phone maker.
The announcement was made via the Nokia France Facebook page, which advised followers that it will be changing its name to Microsoft Lumia in the coming days.
Microsoft subsequently confirmed the name change, which comes six months after the completion of its US$7 billion purchase of Nokia’s handset business.
When Microsoft purchased the Nokia smart devices and mobile phone business, it purchased the Lumia and Asha brands from Nokia but only licenced the Nokia brand. New Nokia Lumia phones will instead be known as Microsoft Lumia, the company said.
The move has come as no surprise to some as the Nokia brand has declined to nearly oblivion over the last decade. The emergence of the smartphone is largely attributed to the brand’s decline after holding close to 50% of the market, according to historical data from Gartner.
Along with Nokia, the Ericsson brand also disappeared after it exited its joint venture with Sony. Only Motorola remains of these three brands the dominated the mobile phone business.
Microsoft clearly feels the need to simplify its smartphone branding, and the Nokia brand is just one casualty. Another motivation may be to avoid confusion with Nokia Networks. The network, systems and mapping provider was not part of the Microsoft deal. The parts of Nokia that were not bought by Microsoft will continue to use the name.
The renaming will roll out globally in due course, Microsoft has said.