Nokia abandons Ovi brand

Nokia Ovi

Since 2007 Nokia has been pushing its Ovi brand of services, offering everything from maps and email to games, app downloads, instant messaging, media sharing, a music store, and more. Now, Nokia says it’s done with the Ovi brand: all the services will continue to operation, but they will be rebranded as “Nokia Services” to consolidate the company’s offerings under a single name: Nokia.

“By centralizing our services identity under one brand, not two, we will reinforce the powerful master brand of Nokia and unify our brand architecture— while continuing to deliver compelling opportunities and experiences for partners and consumers alike,” said Nokia’s chief marketing officer Jerri DeVard, in the company blog.

The name change will start rolling out on new Nokia handsets to be released in July and August, while folks who own existing Nokia phones with Ovi services will see the name changes gradually come in as software updates.

DeVard is one of a swath of new non-Finnish executives installed at Nokia in the wake of Stephen Elop’s appointment as CEO last September. Before signing on at Nokia, DeVard worked at Verizon, Citigroup, Revlon, Harrah’s, and Pillsbury. Industry watchers see her decision to centralize on the Nokia brand as an effort to reduce consumer confusion, particularly as Nokia’s bet-the-farm partnership with Microsoft on Windows Phone 7 begins to bear fruit. Nokia has not announced when it will be bringing its first Windows Phone handsets to market, but the company is under considerably pressure to have products for sale in time for the end-of-year holiday buying season.

Ovi means “door” in Finnish.

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