A leaked letter, supposedly from Nokia to its suppliers, says once the sale of its Devices division to Microsoft goes through, the Nokia name will be retired in favor of Microsoft Mobile. At this time, there’s no official word on this, so treat this as a rumor and nothing more. The wording of the letter is as follows: “Upon the close of the transaction between Microsoft and Nokia, the name of Nokia Corporation will change to Microsoft Mobile.”
Why the alteration? Microsoft will be purchasing the right to use the Nokia brand name on smartphones, should it so decide, but because it’s not buying the whole Nokia operation – Nokia will continue to market Here Maps, and sell network equipment under its own name – it’s forced to rename the part it has acquired. If the letter is accurate, the result will be Microsoft Mobile.
While the name is hardly inspired, what’s not clear is whether this will filter down to the hardware we buy. Replacing the name Nokia with Microsoft Mobile on an actual phone sounds like a bad idea, and thankfully the letter doesn’t indicate this will happen. It’s referring to the business name – confirmed by the words “Oyj” and “Oy” are Finnish, which refer to whether the company is a corporation or a public company – and doesn’t state we’ll be buying a “Microsoft Mobile Lumia 1020” in the future.
Is the Nokia name safe under Microsoft’s rule? That’s still to be confirmed. What we could see is the Nokia name dropped entirely, and end up with “Lumia by Microsoft Mobile” device names. Or it may just be business as usual, with Microsoft preferring not to upset the status quo, leaving the Nokia Lumia branding to live on.
Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s Devices division is expected to be completed later this month, after facing some last minute delays in China, at which time we’re sure to get all the official details.