Nokia Seeks Brand Comeback With N1 Tablet
Now that Microsoft has removed the Nokia brand name from Lumia phones, the non-mobile portion of Finland's Nokia that isn't owned by Microsoft is trying to find other ways to get its name out there. It's off to a strong start with Tuesday's launch of a new Android tablet N1 and corresponding Z Launcher software.
While Nokia has the 98th most valuable brand name in the world (worth about $3.2 billion) according to Interbrand's latest Best Global Brands ranking, it still desperately needs a comeback to combat its aging image amongst consumers in the wake of being phased out by Microsoft.
Beyond its own products, Nokia is looking to license its brand name to third-party manufacturers, TheVerge.com reports. “We have a very valuable brand," said Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia technologies. "Yes it is diminishing in value, and that’s why it is important that we reverse that trend very quickly, imminently."
The N1 is central to Nokia's comeback plan, and will cost $249 in the U.S., although the Telegraph notes that the tablet will launch first in China before rolling out to other markets.
One of the N1's crowning features will be Nokia’s Z launcher software, which adapts the home screen’s apps throughout the day depending on the owner's behavior and usage.
The launch of a Nokia tablet is a big step for the company as it seeks to innovate with branded products beyond the mobile phone space, since part of the deal with Microsoft when Nokia sold its phone business was that Nokia couldn’t use its own brand name on smart phones until the end of 2016, and on feature phones for another decade.
As for Microsoft, it's also closing reportedly planning to spin out Nokia MixRadio, and is going all-in on promoting the Microsoft Lumia, including a video to showcase its interactivity:
And, as CNET reports, Microsoft has also announced the next step in its process of sloughing the Nokia brand name off its phones: A new partnership with Opera Software to launch the Opera Mobile Store, which will take over the Nokia Store when it is shut down in the first half of 2015.
Previously, the Nokia Store was the app source for owners of Nokia feature phones, such as the Asha series, and Symbian and Nokia X phones, and based on the last stats released two years ago, the store was serving up to 15 million downloads daily.
Below, more on today's Nokia product launches: