From Nokia To Microsoft Mobile: What’s Next? (guest post)

Nokia phones colorful background

Guest post — Following Microsoft’s complete acquisition of Nokia on April 24, the global brand is rumored to be getting rebranded to “Microsoft Mobile,” which is said to be spearheaded by a new corporation based in Finland. Stephen Elop, the former CEO of Nokia, remains to be the head of the acquired division. He hinted during his Q&A with TechRadar that Nokia’s products may indeed disappear along with the Lumia range in the coming months. Although, he can’t deny the fact that part of the said acquisition is Microsoft’s right to use the famous Nokia brand and all of its patents.

Now that the deal is officially sealed, what happens next? Will Nokia finally bid its farewell to the mobile arena? Will Microsoft stand a chance to dominate the global mobile market as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM)? To fully elaborate on this, read on our discussion below.

Good Bye Nokia?

Although part of the deal is to use the Nokia branding in its future devices, Stephen Elop suggested that Microsoft won’t necessarily be using the Nokia brand for long. The brand still exists as an independent company focusing on networking business, Here Maps, and Nokia Solutions, and Network (NSN) services catering to Microsoft’s software division. Natasha Lomas of TechCruch believes that “continuing to trade off of that name, even when you’ve paid for the right to do so, likely doesn’t sit right with the marketing department.”

As for the rumors that Nokia will be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile for good, Elop pointed out that Microsoft can freely use the popular mobile brand on its phones, tablets, and phablets (hybrid phone and tablet) for a period of time. However, Elop stressed out that Nokia as a brand will not help the smartphone company move forward. “Work is underway to select the go forward smartphone brand,” Elop added.

Multiple Operating Systems, Multiple Personalities

Following this change, Microsoft Mobile will be like Samsung, an OEM which deals with multiple operating systems for their smart devices. As listed on the Galaxy S5 specifications page on O2, Samsung’s new flagship smartphone device runs with Android Kitkat version 4.4, but, the Korean manufacturer also created a Galaxy S5 counterpart running Windows Phone – the Samsung ATIV SE.

In the case of Microsoft Mobile, the OEM will also continue to use a forked version of Android OS for its entry-level handsets, similar to the existing line of Nokia X series. As reiterated by Adrian Lee, head of product marketing for Rancard, “the recent foray into an Android-underpinned Nokia X range signals the openness that Microsoft knows its Windows Phone platform has not been a resounding success.”

However, this venture could also result to a new mobile brand with multiple personalities. It will take a lot of resources for OEMs to maintain multiple platforms. Microsoft might even confuse an average mobile consumer, instead of using the original Android version that lacks Google applications. Take note that Apple (both Samsung and Nokia’s competitor) didn’t even bother to use Android or any other third-party mobile OS even in their mid-range device, the iPhone 5c. They wish to focus on a single OS that they can easily improve, update, and control.

What Will Happen To Nokia Asha?

Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s devices raised a lot of questions among the global users. One of which is the curiosity about what could possibly happen to the budget Nokia Asha feature phones that is surprisingly in-demand in Asian countries?

In an interview with Nokia marketing Chief Tuula Rytalia featured on the Nokia Conversations page, she said that she has no idea if they will retain the moniker in its future product releases/updates. What she knew as of the moment is the fact that Microsoft will embrace its strongest markets by releasing a cost-efficient entry-level handsets and feature phones.

Rytalia also pointed out that Nokia will never abandon their existing users. They will not end the support for the existing line of Asha series. “All of our support functions are also going to be transferred to Microsoft, including our Care network, under the stewardship of Juha Putkiranta, the head of operations. Customers won’t actually experience any difference,” Rytalia concluded.

These are the possibilities that lie ahead of Nokia/Microsoft Mobile. Do you think this acquisition is a wise choice for Microsoft? We’d love to hear your arguments below.

About the Author

Jennifer Birch is a self-confessed power user of Windows Phone. Though saddened by the fact that Nokia will cease to exist in the near future, she is optimistic that Microsoft could bring endless possibilities on the market. Follow her on Google +.

Editor’s note: This guest post was written by Jennifer Birtch, tech writer at Techie Doodlers.

Image source Flickr by Jhon Dolor