The smartphone world is still reeling from last night’s surprise news of Microsoft acquiring Nokia’s Devices & Services division. Sure, it’s an idea we’ve thought about many times, but to actually see it happen, with no warning sign of the actual decision coming, is something else. Now that it’s really happening, though, what will this arrangement mean for the future of Lumia devices? We’ve already heard quite a bit from both Nokia and Microsoft about what to expect.
Moving forward, Microsoft gets the Lumia and Asha brands. As for the name Nokia itself, Microsoft is licensing it over the next ten years, for possible use with lower-end handsets. Nokia can keep using its own name for stuff like Here, but not for any phones – for a while, at least. Starting in 2016, Nokia will once again be able to release dumbphones under its own name, should it feel like doing so.
What we haven’t heard about is using the Nokia name for smartphones, and with Microsoft definitely scoring the Lumia brand, it’s sounding likely that we could see future Lumia models released as Microsoft Lumia handsets.
At least, we might, unless Microsoft plans to leave out its own name altogether – Steve Ballmer made the confusing comment that Microsoft can do better than all-too-long names like the “Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 1020,” though that seems to be conflating Nokia’s and HTC’s naming schemes.