The Devices and Services business of Finnish technology company Nokia, which was taken over by Microsoft in April 2014, has since faced a series of branding revamps.
Microsoft is squeezing out mention of Nokia, although for now it is sticking with the Lumia device brand. Windows Phone is also on its way out, and Microsoft will soon have created a world in which its devices are simply 'Microsoft' branded using the 'Windows' operating system.
In the case of the freshly announced Microsoft Lumia 535 smartphone, the only branding on the device is 'Microsoft'. The Lumia 535 will be available for under £90 ($141, INR8,702), pitching it in the budget smartphone category.
Users will get a 5in display along with front and rear 5 megapixel cameras, a 1.2GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. The device will run the Windows Phone 8.1 mobile operating system, and is expected to feature the brand new Lumia Denim update.
Lumia 535 is expected to be launched in important technology markets across the world on 26 November.
The Lumia 520 was awarded the sobriquet of a 'best-seller' within its range in 2013, hence Lumia 535 could replicate the 520's success considering the former comes with better features, like the Microsoft Cortana voice assistant.
Key features and technical specifications of Microsoft Lumia 535
Cortana is Microsoft's voice-driven 'personal assistant' software, meaning users of Lumia 535 will be able to use the intuitive "Hey Cortana'' voice command to activate Cortana. The Lumia 535 also supports Skype Video Calls and Microsoft Office application suite.
- 5in IPS display enclosed within Gorilla Glass 3.
- Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1 operating platform.
- Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, clocked at 1.2GHz.
- Dual SIM-card support.
- 5MP primary camera.
- 5MP secondary camera.
- 1 GB RAM.
- 8 GB internal storage.
- MicroSD card slot for expansion of internal storage, up to 128GB.
- 3G, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi and microUSB connectivity.
- 1905 mAh Li-Ion battery, with a claimed talk-time of up to 13 hours on 3G, and a music playback time of up to 78 hours.
The 5MP primary and 5MP secondary cameras are an attractive feature within Lumia 535.
Nokia plots a return to smartphones?
As terms of the acquisition agreement with Nokia, Microsoft acquired the Lumia and Asha brands, with a limited license on the Nokia brand for promoting smartphones. Microsoft can use the Nokia and Lumia brands for marketing for 18 months post-acquisition (October 2015). Microsoft can market Nokia X devices until 31 December 2015. As for feature phones, Microsoft can use the Nokia brand for 10 years.
According to reports on Nokia's Q3 2014 results, Nokia Corporation's CEO Rajeev Suri has reiterated the fact that Nokia is still a valuable brand from the perspective of mobile phones, and mobile devices as a whole.
Nokia recently launched the HERE Maps app for Android, which signals its ongoing development work for the platform.
The CEO's statement, the ongoing android development work, and its close ties to the Jolla smartphone team has led to speculation that Nokia could re-enter the smartphone market at some point after the 2016 branding license countdown expires.
However, this may be easier said than done, as a chunk of Nokia's best talents migrated to Microsoft as part of the Nokia acquisition deal, while on the other hand, swathes of employees have been laid off from the previous Nokia mobile phone division.
The fact is that the Nokia brand remains strong, well-known for its affordable range of cellphones, especially in developing countries such as India, where you will find a large number of old-time Nokia users.