Microsoft has unveiled new branding for its smartphone line-up – Microsoft Lumia, transitioning from Nokia Lumia. This means that Microsoft brand name will be featured prominently on front and back of the device. As a part of the re-branding, the websites and social media pages have already been moved to Microsoft’s mobile pages.
It should be noted that Microsoft took 18 months to make the transition, according to the acquisition agreement of Nokia devices business. It still holds a 10-year licence agreement of Nokia Brand for its non-smartphones. Nokia is a very well-recognised and trustworthy smartphone brand when it comes to consumer perception. Microsoft can piggyback on Nokia’s brand for its low-end handsets, however, it needs to be seen whether Microsoft keeps coming up with low-end handsets in the future.
Microsoft had acquired Nokia’s handset business, as it were the only company to produce and market flagship Windows Phones and people came to associate the Lumia brand as Windows Phone devices. There’s little or no incentive for Microsoft to keep running Nokia’s low-end handset division.
Having said that, Microsoft could benefit from the same branding for its upcoming one OS for all platform initiative. It already brings the Surface tablets, which has seen 127% growth YoY, however the Lumia sales have failed to pick up despite launching sturdy devices.
It needs to be seen whether consumers accept Microsoft branded phones over trustworthy Nokia brand. In a way, it could work for Microsoft. Since Nokia didn’t innovate much when others, including Apple, Google, and Palm were adding interesting features to their OSes, consumers came to disassociate Nokia brand from being innovative. A clean break-up from Nokia branding could help in that case.
Microsoft isn’t known for making great products, except the Xbox gaming consoles and PC accessories. Would you have the same kind of faith in the Microsoft branded devices when compared to Nokia branded devices?