Microsoft’s $US7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s mobile phone business will probably kill Nokia as a mobile brand forever, according to the company’s statements so far.
Microsoft has the option of keeping Nokia as a handset brand, but now that it owns that business, don’t expect to see the word “Nokia” on its phones. The news of the death of “Nokia” will come as a shock to those of us who remember fondly our first, candy-bar shaped mobile phones.
The details of the fate of Nokia are complicated. Here’s what Microsoft said in its release:
Microsoft is also acquiring Nokia’s Mobile Phones business unit, which serves hundreds of millions of customers worldwide, and had sales of 53.7 million units in the second quarter of 2013. Microsoft will acquire the Asha brand and will licence the Nokia brand for use with current Nokia mobile phone products. Nokia will continue to own and manage the Nokia brand. This element provides Microsoft with the opportunity to extend its service offerings to a far wider group around the world while allowing Nokia’s mobile phones to serve as an on-ramp to Windows Phone.
While that looks as if the Nokia brand will survive, in fact it will not. It appears to mean that the brand “Nokia” will stay at the vestigial parts of the Nokia company that Microsoft isn’t acquiring.
This slide from Microsoft’s investor presentation gives the company’s basic intent: