Nokia's days as a smartphone brand may be numbered.
The Finnish phone manufacturer may have just launched its Lumia 2520 tablet and Lumia 1520 phablet, but hot on the heels of Microsoft's US$7 billion buyout, the future of the Nokia name has been cast into doubt by comments made by current Nokia CEO Stephen Elop.
Once the acquisition is complete, the world-renowned Nokia brand name could be dropped in favour of simply 'Lumia' for future Windows 8 devices, with the Nokia brand being preserved for the budget Asha handsets - for the next 10 years at least.
Nokia - over and out
Everyone knows Nokia as the brand synonymous with the indesctructible phones of yesteryear, and despite Microsoft licensing the brand name to the low-end range of Asha smartphones for the next 10 years, everything else about the brand is in jeopardy as Microsoft attempt to push self-branded smartphones in the same vein as hardware like the Surface tablet.
At the launch of their latest smartphones and new RT-based tablet, the Nokia chief revealed to the Telegraph that "it was possible" that the Nokia brand name could disappear entirely, but that "lots of things could happen in ten years".
Elop said that once the acquisition was complete the decision would have to be made as a "combined company" as to which direction their smartphone branding would go in.
"What we have to decide is what the brand will be. Becacuse 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."
"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 Microsoft inbound
When asked about his potential future with Microsoft, he said he was excited at the prospect of leaving for Microsoft where he previously worked up until 2010 in charge of smartphone and tablet development as well as "some devices that haven't even been announced yet".
Elop failed to confirm whether he would be the next Microsoft CEO after Steve Ballmer's departure, despite him being one of the leading contenders in the replacement race, stating "That's a matter for the Microsoft board of directors".