The tech industry was mourning the demise of Nokia last week when Microsoft announced that it would no longer release Nokia-branded mobiles.
However, it turns out that our grieving was premature, as Microsoft has now clarified that the Nokia brand will live on – albeit on a much smaller scale.
In a statement posted on a Q&A on the Nokia site, the company’s SVP of Marketing Tuula RytilÃ¤ confirmed that the brand will still be seen on basic entry-level phones (such as the low-end Nokia 130) in emerging markets.
“Microsoft will continue to sell Nokia-branded, entry-level category of phones, such as the Nokia 130,” said RytilÃ¤. “We have licensed the Nokia brand for such devices.”
The Nokia 130 (pictured above) is the cheapest ever phone to be launched under Microsoft’s leadership of the Finnish manufacturer. The device, which costs just $25 (£20) was unveiled in August. The basic handset lacks an internet connection (meaning it is not a smartphone) but does come with an MP3 player, FM radio and flashlight. As Microsoft iterated upon the launch of the Nokia 130, the devices is aimed squarely at emerging markets. Other basic Nokia phones include the even cheaper 105 and the 220.
Microsoft will continue phasing out all Nokia Lumia devices over the coming weeks, which will soon become Microsoft Lumia phones. RytilÃ¤ confirmed that the first Microsoft Lumia device would be coming soon.
“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,” she said.
RytilÃ¤ added that Microsoft’s global websites, plus its social channels, would continue the rebranding process of devices in the coming weeks.