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Nokia CEO admits Microsoft may “ditch Nokia brand”

Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, has admitted Microsoft could “ditch the Nokia brand” in the future.

Microsoft only has the license to use the Nokia brand name for ten years, after which point the software giant could opt to make the name disappear from the smartphone market forever.

The Nokia purchase is still being finalised, but after that point Nokia will still own the brand that paved the way for smartphones originally. However, Microsoft has licensed the Nokia name for use on the Nokia Asha handsets for ten years.

In ten years, there may not be any more Nokia smartphones, admitted Elop adding “lots of things could happen in ten years.”

Speaking to The Telegraph at the Nokia World event in Abu Dhabi, Elop said although Nokia may not exist in the future, its smartphones could be branded simply as Lumia.

“What we have to decide is what the brand will be. Because we have not decided what brand will be dominant for smartphones, that’s work that’s still ahead. And of course the way we’ll go through that is to assess with consumers what they respond most positively to, what conveys the best message and the best hopes of success.”

Both Nokia and Microsoft have multiple brands to their name, including Xbox and Lumia, so a decision will be made as to whether Nokia becomes a Microsoft brand in the future.

“Microsoft as a company, of course, has may brands: Xbox, Office, Surface and a variety of others. We have brands like Lumia. So we’ll need to decide what the next step is from a branding perspective.”

Despite part of the Microsoft buyout meaning Elop will have to step down as CEO, he remains positive that Nokia will still retain the same hardware focus under its new ownership.

“Tomorrow or the next day, after the transaction with Microsoft closes, I know the men and women who have designed this device – and there are people in Finland and the US and China – these are the same people tomorrow as they are today. So when you think about the soul of the company and its values and its beliefs, it’s not something that you transfer, it’s people.”

Next, read our review of the Nokia Lumia 1020.

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