For four years now, Ovi has been Nokia’s primary best answer to not only Apple’s ludicrously successful App Store, but the likes of Google/Bing maps and a variety of other products that it has been pit against in the mobile market.
However, apparently the time has come for Nokia to scrap the ‘Ovi’ name, in favour of the master brand, ‘Nokia’. It’s a wise-move, from a marketing point of view, keeping it all under one header, if you like, removing the potential for confusing consumers and detaching itself from its own products in some respects. The shift takes it along the same naming path as Google operates so successfully, and will see the Ovi Store and Ovi Maps amongst others, becoming Nokia Store and Nokia Maps.
What does this mean for Nokia? Well, most importantly I would suggest that this is a simple indication of Nokia’s new direction. Rebranding frequently plays a huge part in the resurgence of an almost forgotten company, a category which Nokia so easily falls into these days, sadly.
On top of this, we obviously have the huge collaboration between Nokia and Microsoft on Windows Phone 7, and already strong rumours that Nokia will be placing its own services into the, for the most part, uncustomisable OS. So far, manufacturers of Windows Phone 7, and in some cases carriers, have added in their own apps, but nothing at OS level, which is something remarkably more plausible now Nokia are so deeply involved in its development.
Anyway, we’re not here to discuss Windows Phone 7 nor Microsoft. It’s about Nokia, and at them moment this is just another signal of them heading in a direction. Not necessarily the right one, I mean the Ovi ecosystem has been the most successful aspects of the business in recent years, and is the only saving grace of Symbian, in truth.
Thankfully, Pino Bonetti, editor of Nokia’s Ovi Blog, clarified that the only change to the services would be the name, and the content of the products would remain untouched bar the branding.
Honestly, I can only see this being a positive move, but not an altogether monumental one. I mean, I imagine that a great proportion of people knowledgeable on the industry, will be looking at what they can get from an entire ecosystem. That’s what we’re constantly moving towards, whether it be the iPad, iPhone, Mac combination or making use of Google’s, Microsoft’s or other cloud services, it’s all about keeping things synchronised. And whilst this won’t actually affect the functionality, it may just give the rest of the world a more secure knowledge that what Nokia is offering is all part of one great package, with a lot more to offer than a patchwork of services from different developers, which doesn’t always inspire confidence.
Anyway, the work is underway, and the resurgence of Nokia is clear for all to see. All we can do for now is wait and see what eventually comes about of Nokia’s relationship with Microsoft and whether it will be a success for Nokia. If not, it might be last chance saloon for the Finnish former mobile giant. It’s make or break.