Nokia, the one-time king of the smartphone world, has finally come to a point where the Finnish giant is taking the back seat and leaving the smartphone world for good. That’s correct – no more smartphones will ever carry the brand name ‘Nokia’ ever again, even if the manufacturer was once viewed as the symbol for quality and reliability.
The decision comes as a part of the $7.1 billion acquisition of Nokia by Microsoft, which has surprisingly decided to venture into the smartphone hardware manufacturing as well. Judging by Microsoft’s past experience with Xbox and Surface tablets, we don’t see a reason why it shouldn’t, but the news still took the world by storm when it broke across the blogosphere.
As per the terms of the deal between Microsoft and Nokia, the Asha and Lumia trademarks will now belong to Microsoft, and hence, any phones made for the Windows Phone platform and the Symbian Belle platform will carry Microsoft as the maker instead of Nokia. The Nokia sign, however, will remain a property of the Finnish company, under part of a 10-year licensing agreement. This means that feature phones manufactured by Nokia will still carry its name, but as far as the smartphone race goes, this spells the end of the line for the company.
In all fairness, this was a really quiet exit for the innovation giant that actually helped start the smartphone trend in the world. No one can argue that Symbians were the first ever phones that brought to the general consumer market the concept of a phone that’s more than just a communication device, and they continued to build on that success until the iPhone came in 2007 and pretty much blew away the competition. While Symbian Belle may be outdated and redundant by today’s iOS and Android standards, the fact that it was a part of the smartphone legacy, still holds true, and we feel Nokia deserved more as its final wave.
The acquisition of the Finnish company by Microsoft raises many questions, especially with respect to Stephen Elop’s future with the Redmond giant. While he’ll now be heading the devices division, and overseeing, at least for the time being, these wonderful technological marvels that Lumias have been so far, some see him as a potential successor to Ballmer’s position as CEO of Microsoft who has already announced his retirement from Microsoft. The question is, would this acquisition of Nokia by Microsoft really help push Windows Phone platform to a level where it could compete against the current smartphone kings? Or would this decision turn out to be something similar to Google’s acquisition of Motorola? Only time will tell.