Microsoft: Nokia lives on for 'entry-level' phones

Nokia handsets.
Nokia handsets.

Its licensing deal with Nokia lets it use the brand at the low end

Microsoft has ditched the Nokia brand on smartphones, but clarified it will continue releasing basic Nokia-branded phones targeted at emerging markets.

Last week, the company confirmed it would rename the Nokia Lumia smartphone brand to Microsoft Lumia. Local Facebook pages Nokia France and Nokia UK confirmed they would be rebranding within the next few days.

A rebrand of some kind was expected, since Microsoft was only permitted to continue using the Nokia brand on smartphones 18 months after acquiring the company’s devices and services business.

That same license permits Microsoft to keep using the Nokia name – but only for cheap phones such as the new Nokia 130, the company’s senior vice president of marketing for phones, Tuula Rytilä, has clarified.

"Microsoft will continue to sell Nokia-branded, entry-level category of phones, such as the Nokia 130," said Rytilä in a Q&A posted on the Nokia site. "We have licensed the Nokia brand for such devices."

Rytilä said the rebrand would not mean current Nokia Lumia devices were "obsolete" and said the first Microsoft Lumia device was coming soon.

She said: "I wouldn’t comment on future product announcements, but what I can say is that that we are looking forward to unveiling a Microsoft Lumia device soon.

"This is of course a natural progression as all devices that once came from Nokia now come from Microsoft.

She clarified that Microsoft’s global and local websites, plus its social channels, would undergo a rebrand to Microsoft Lumia in the next few weeks.

This story first appeared on

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