Nokia Drops Ovi Brand for Good

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Nokia today announced the end of its Ovi mobile services brand, starting today and slowly phasing out over the coming year.

All Ovi‘s products – including maps, email, music, an app store, and more – will continue to operate, but now simply under the Nokia brand name.

In an official announcement, Nokia’s head of marketing Jerri DeVard said:

“By centralizing our services identity under one brand, not two, we will reinforce the powerful master brand of Nokia and unify our brand architecture.”

In other words, one brand is simpler and cheaper than two.

It’s about time, frankly. Nokia is one of the world’s best-known, most easily-recognised brands, simply by virtue of selling so many low-cost phone handsets in so many places. The word “Nokia” means something to an awful lot of people, but the word “Ovi” only means anything to people who already use Ovi services.

And another reason might be the rumors swirling about Apple’s plans for the huge datacenter it is constructing in North Carolina. If it was to become the home of a suite of online applications under the Apple brand, Nokia would be better placed to fight back with a single brand of its own, rather than a confusing mixture of two.