Nokia set to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nokia is reportedly set to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile when Microsoft completes its acquisition of the Finnish mobile company later this week, but it is a move analysts have said is “risky” if the company wants to make Windows Phone a true contender to Apple and Google.
A letter to Nokia’s devices and services business suppliers base leaked to the Nokia Power User blog says on the close of the acquisition the name of Nokia Corporation/Nokia Oyj will change to Microsoft Mobile Oy. “Oy” refers to the word “company” or “corporation” in Finnish.
Microsoft would not comment on the rebrand but said in a statement: “Microsoft is excited to welcome the Nokia Devices and Services business. We have confirmed the acquisition will be completed on April 25. At that time we will begin the work of integration. We have nothing further to share at this time.”
Microsoft first announced plans to acquire Nokia for $7.2bn (£4.6bn) in September last year. The deal will see Microsoft purchasing Nokia’s services and devices business; its marketing, operations, sales and design teams and manufacturing and assembly facilities. Microsoft will also licence some of Nokia’s patents for use across Microsoft’s products - such as the HERE mapping system - and it has also purchased the “Lumia” and “Asha” device brand names as part of the deal.
When the acquisition was first announced, analysts denounced the disposal of the Nokia brand name as “risky” as brand awareness of Microsoft’s Windows Phone is not as strong as the Finnish phone maker in markets outside of the US.
At the time Gartner principal research analyst Annette Zimmerman told Marketing Week: “The Nokia brand still has a high value to people. That doesn’t mean the Microsoft brand is not known - but what does it mean to people?”