Nokia Plans to Licence its Brand to Third-Party Device Manufacturers

by Istvan Fekete on November 18, 2014

A lot has changed during the past 12 months since Microsoft took over Nokia. One of the most noteworthy changes is that the new owner is killing the Nokia brand, at least starting from the next-generation Lumia smartphones. To save the brand name, Nokia took a page from Polaroid: the manufacturer has plans to licence its brand, allowing third-party manufacturers to create products and sell them using the Nokia name.

The company’s plans were revealed by Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia technologies, who spoke at Nokia’s capital markets day last week. He outlined the company’s plan to save the dying Nokia brand now that Microsoft has acquired its phone business.

Although its hands are tied until the end of 2016 as regards smartphones, and for the next 10 years regarding feature phones – as specified in the terms and conditions of the deal with Microsoft – it can use the brand elsewhere freely.

“It is our goal to start licensing our brand in areas other than these two restricted areas, starting this quarter actually,” says Haidamus. Nokia will use the brand “in the areas that we can and the areas where the brand is relevant.”

As outlined by Haidamus, Nokia has a rapid prototyping team that will concept products and demonstrate them to customers, and licence the technologies involved, unleashing the creative talent and experience of the company.

Nokia, however, has no plans to return to handsets as a company, but will (possibly) start licencing the brand to a smartphone manufacturer in 2017.

Haidamus is aware of the brand value and the threat Nokia is facing: “We have a very valuable brand,” says Haidamus. “Yes, it is diminishing in value, and that’s why it is important that we reverse that trend very quickly, imminently.”

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