As a technology PR consultant, I was really sad to read that Microsoft has cast the first blow to the Nokia brand it bought ten months ago. As reported in channel magazine Microscope yesterday, Microsoft quietly posted on the Nokia UK Facebook page that the name will change to Microsoft Lumia UK in the next few days indicating that it’s taking the first steps in a re-brand.
It’s understandable from a branding perspective that Microsoft would begin to re-badge Nokia phones. It gives the software giant the hardware product line it so desperately needs if it’s going to compete head on with Apple. But strategy aside, I for one will miss the iconic Nokia brand and I’m sure I won’t be the only one.
To me Nokia represents the birth of the consumer mobile phone market. Prior to the 90s the mobile phone was the preserve of the rich and upwardly mobile (as characterised by Dom Jolly). Then along came Nokia. It simplified and extended handsets to become more than just a way to make a call on the move. It was the first glimmer of the potential for smart devices of the future.
There weren’t many of us who didn’t have a Nokia in the 90s. Simply seeing a picture of the Nokia 3210 makes me nostalgic. That one handset taught me how to text, how to game (remember the addictive properties of snake) and of course there was that ringtone. A digital version Grande Valse, the ringtone is so iconic is even has it’s own Wiki page.
I for one will miss the Nokia brand as it marked an exciting period in my life and for those who want to get nostalgic here’s a picture of the 3210 and if you need to hear that iconic ringtone just once more click here.
Claire Lamb is a consultant at Skout. She’s worked in technology PR for 20 years and has survived more bubbles than Michael Jackson.