Microsoft likely to drop Nokia brand, admits Elop

Lumia brand likely to become part of Microsoft's line up rather than licenced moniker

Microsoft is likely to drop the Nokia brand for its smartphones, its outgoing boss has admitted.

Speaking to the Telegraph in Abu Dhabi, Stephen Elop said that no decision had been reached between the two companies about smartphone branding.

It is expected that Microsoft may simply opt to call future Nokia smartphones by their current brand name Lumia.

Microsoft has agreed to licence the Nokia brand for ten years for its budget Asha feature phones.

If it does ditch the Nokia brand for its Windows Phone 8 devices, it is likely to dump the brand for future Asha phones after the deal runs out too.

“What we have to decide is what the brand will be,” he told the paper.

"Because we have not decided what brand will be dominant for smartphones, that's work that's still ahead. And of course the way we'll go through that process is to assess with consumers what they respond most positively to, what conveys the best message and the best hopes of success.

"Microsoft as a company, of course, has many brands: Xbox, Office, Surface and a variety of others. We have brands like Lumia. So we'll need to decide what the next step is from a branding perspective.

“There are hundreds and hundreds of millions of people who are familiar with and use Microsoft and Nokia technology, literally billions of people between the two companies. And I suspect that somewhere in there amongst all of those purchasing decisions there's something that we can tap into.”

Elop is one of the favourites to take over from Steve Ballmer when he leaves Microsoft next year. It emerged he would leave the company after Microsoft announced its intentions to purchase Nokia's hardware and services divisions.

Yesterday the company took the wraps off its first phablet, the Lumia 1520. It also unveiled its first – and possibly last – tablet, the Lumia 2520.

With Microsoft invested in the Surface brand, it is unlikely to continue producing Lumia tablets – at least ones running Windows RT.