Ars Technica reported today the Nokia brand will be removed from its mobile device line in favor of “Microsoft Mobile’ when the Microsoft acquisition is complete April 25.
“Nokia’s Web and social media presence — which today primarily promotes its smartphones — will be managed by Microsoft for up to a year,” wrote Ars Technica’s Peter Bright.
It’s the end of an era for Nokia, but a new device brand opportunity for Windows Phone.
“Originally, employees at Nokia’s Chief Technology Office were to remain with Nokia; now 21 of them, working on mobile phones in China, will switch to Microsoft. Nokia will also retain its South Korean manufacturing facility rather than transferring it to Microsoft.”
As a former Nokia candybar phone owner, this is sad news, as it signals what the Times of India called the “end of an era.” Nokia used to be the world leader in mobile devices, a uniquely Finnish success story in the typically Asian-dominated consumer electronics industry. Similarly, BlackBerry was once the smartphone king, a uniquely Canadian success story that is now left seeking a purpose.
Microsoft should learn this from Nokia: Evolve or die.
Today, the mobile leaders are Android and iOS and from a manufacturing perspective, they’re Samsung and Apple. Microsoft, of course, would like to change that, but it faces a steeply uphill battle.
If Microsoft can learn anything about the fiercely competitive mobile phone market from Nokia or BlackBerry, it’s this: Evolve or die.