No, it’s not Microsoft, though the company’s share of the computing world has gone from monopoly to also-ran. How about these two industry leading brands that have died or experienced a near-death experience? Microsoft bought one and then killed it.
What’s In A Name Brand?
Apple launched the iPhone in 2007 with the modest goal of selling about 10-million units in the first full calendar year.
The industry leaders at the time included Nokia, HTC, Samsung, BlackBerry, and, with software, Microsoft.
Of those, Samsung remains prosperous. All the other smartphone manufacturers have fallen upon hard times. In the case of Nokia, the brand has all but disappeared after being bought by failing giant Microsoft.
The Nokia brand name remains, but not on smartphones, and not with Microsoft, which has just tacked the Lumia brand on Windows Phone. Why not Nokia? As far as smartphones are concerned, it’s a dead brand. It ruled from 1998 to 2012, but was killed by the smartphone revolution instigated by Apple and copied by Android and Samsung.
Lumia was a Nokia brand which received high marks from smartphone reviewers and customers, especially for the camera. Microsoft simply recognized that Nokia, as a smartphone brand, had no value, but Lumia– a unique but well known, well recognized, and well respected brand– had value that could be used in the company’s future.
Hence, Microsoft Lumia.
Nokia died. Lumia lives. The former crushed in the marketplace by Apple’s iPhones and Android knockoffs, while the latter at least retains some respectable brand recognition– something Microsoft desperately needs as it seeks relevance in the mobile device era.