The next Nokia you own may not even be a phone


Nokia is not done yet, at least a brand name. You see, the Finnish company looks set to license its iconic brand to other businesses, and not necessarily in the mobile space either.

The reason it can do that is because in its deal with Microsoft, Nokia sold its smartphone line but held on to its brand name. Although the former mobile giant has seen massive revenue losses since 2012, it is still the world’s 98th most valuable name with a net worth of around US$3.2- billion. Its plan is to profit off that name by licensing it to other companies, along with its technology and patent portfolios.

Speaking at Nokia’s capital markets day last week, Nokia Technologies President Ramzi Haidamus, said that the company is free to license its name to any non-phone products, as long as “the brand is relevant”. Haidamus did not mention any potential companies but said that the product would need to look like it was made by Nokia.

Unfortunately whatever that product is, it cannot be a feature or smartphone phone as yet. As part of the sale deal with Microsoft, Nokia is restricted from using its name on feature phones for another ten years, but it is free to brand smartphones after 2016.

That said Nokia has already made it clear that it has no intentions to enter the market directly. Its plan is that it would license its brand to third-party smartphones companies and work with them to make the best use of it. Haidamus was quick to point out that while the Nokia name is valuable, he’s keen to capitalize on it soon, as its lustre will diminish rapidly.

“We have a very valuable brand,” said Haidamus. “Yes it is diminishing in value, and that’s why it is important that we reverse that trend very quickly, imminently.”

As imminent as this week, reports suggest. Nokia’s product business head, Sebastian Nystrom, is presenting a “what’s next for Nokia” session at Finland’s Slush conference tomorrow

The other kick from the dying horse that is Nokia is that it wants to market its technological expertise, along with its extensive patent portfolio — for instance, it added 914 new patents in 2014 alone.



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