Nokia has ditched the Ovi name from its app store, renaming it Nokia Services.
The move is part of its wider strategy to drop its Symbian operating system in favour of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 following its strategic alliance with Microsoft.
The new title of Nokia Services is expected to be temporary as Nokia said after it signed its deal with Microsoft last year that it would eventually roll its app store into Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace.
The alliance is at the heart of Nokia’s attempt to clawback falling marketshare, which it has lost largely due to the rise of Android driven smartphones.
Nokia stuck to its Symbian operating system when other manufacturers defected to Android in 2009 and 2010. However, as its smartphone sales plummeted in the face of competition from Android phones, Nokia finally launched its fightback last year, tying its colours to Microsoft’s mast, in a strategic alliance which will see it develop Windows 7 phones.
Jerri De Vard, chief marketing officer for Nokia said: ‘We have made the decision to change our service branding from Ovi to Nokia. By centralising our services identity under one brand, not two, we will reinforce the powerful master brand of Nokia and unify our brand architecture – while continuing to deliver compelling opportunities and experiences for partners and consumers alike.’
He added: ‘The reasons for this decision includes the fact that Nokia is a well-known and highly loved brand the world over. Our mobile experiences are tightly integrated with our devices – there is no longer a differentiation.
‘For example, if consumers want the best mobile navigation experience, they know it’s a Nokia that they can rely on. These last few years, and moving forward, our mission remains unchanged – we will continue our work to deliver compelling, unified mobile service offerings and next generation, disruptive technologies.’
Jon Delaney, analyst at IDC said Nokia was long overdue in using its name to promote its services.
He said: 'Nokia's former CEO Olli-Pekka Kalasvuo once said: "Services are not an interesting sideline for us; they are critical to the future of our business." But Nokia has not played with a stake that is high enough to reflect that stated importance. It has been unwilling to maximise its chances of success by putting its brand on its services.
'Companies that have, by contrast, succeeded with new services by putting their brand on them include Apple, Google and Microsoft. Nokia needed to take the same risk. Now that it is disengaging from the platform software business, it's more important than ever that Nokia gets some momentum behind its new services line of business.
'We believe that using its primary brand directly will maximise Nokia's chances of success. It was risky four years ago, and it's still risky – but it's a risk that Nokia can no longer afford to avoid.'