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Nokia Will License its Brand to Third-Party Hardware Makers

AT&T Nokia Lumia 1520-Front-Camera

Nokia’s incredibly familiar logo may no longer be appearing on new Lumia smartphones, but you certainly haven’t seen the end of it just yet. The Finnish firm has announced plans to license its brand name to third-party hardware makers in the near future.

At Nokia’s capital markets day last week, Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia technologies, confirmed that the company has new ideas for its brand now that Microsoft will no longer be using it on new Windows Phone devices, The Verge reports.

Nokia wants to take a similar route Polaroid has and allow other electronics manufacturers to use its name and logo on their products. The company cannot use the Nokia name on smartphones until the end of 2016, or on feature phones for another ten years due to its deal with Microsoft — but there’s nothing to stop it from using the Nokia name on other goods.

“It is our goal to start licensing our brand in areas other than these two restricted areas, starting this quarter actually,” Haidamus said, before clarifying that the brand would only be used “in the areas that we can and the areas where the brand is relevant.”

You probably won’t see Nokia bed sheets, then, and anything that does carry the logo will deliver an experience and reliability you’re used to getting from a Nokia product. Although some may be built by third parties, they will “look and feel just like Nokia built it,” Haidamus said.

Nokia won’t just license its name, but possible future products as well. It has plans to prototype new concept devices and then sell the ideas and technologies used to third-party companies for continued development. There will be some, however, that Nokia takes directly to consumers.

Nokia has no plans to return to the smartphone business at this time, but the company hasn’t ruled out licensing its name to other smartphone makers when it becomes free to do so in late 2016. It is aware that its brand is “diminishing in value,” Haidamus said, which is why it is working to keep it alive and “reverse that trend very quickly.”

The Verge

Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...