Nokia brand to be axed but not replaced by Microsoft Mobile

"Microsoft Mobile Oy will not be seen by customers," says former Nokia CEO.

Microsoft has yet to decide how it will brand its smartphones in the long-run, despite reports of a switch to the name Microsoft Mobile.

Stephen Elop, former Nokia CEO and current EVP of the Microsoft devices group, confirmed the Nokia brand will be phased out, but did not give a time frame over when this will happen. He did, however, confirm the Microsoft Mobile Oy, which has been created for legal purposes, will not be a customer-facing brand.

"Microsoft Mobile Oy is a legal construct that was created to facilitate the merger. It is not a brand that will be seen by consumers," Elop explained during a Q&A with Nokia Conversations.

"The Nokia brand is available to Microsoft to use for its mobile phones products for a period of time, but Nokia as a brand will not be used for long going forward for smartphones. Work is underway to select the go forward smartphone brand."

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Elop declined to give details about names, but suggested Microsoft is looking for something snappy. This may lead to the firm simply using the Windows Phone name.

"While we are not ready to share precise details, I can assure you that it will not be the Nokia Lumia 1020 with Windows Phone on the AT&T LTE Network' ... too many words! That somehow doesn't roll off the tongue," he continued.

Elop also suggested Nokia X devices, which run Android will not be canned as they provide customers with a gateway to use Microsoft services.

"Microsoft acquired the mobile phones business, inclusive of Nokia X, to help connect the next billion people to Microsoft's services," he added.

"Nokia X uses the Microsoft cloud, not Google's. This is a great opportunity to connect new customers to Skype, and Onedrive for the first time. We've already seen tens of thousands of new subscribers on Microsoft services."

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