zopA new Lumia generation is coming this autumn and the specifications of some devices were already leaked rich in detail. But the names of the new phones aren’t clear at the moment. I want to use this possibility to tell you in this article why I think it would be better to rename Microsoft’s phone brand.
From the past to the present
The first Lumia smartphone was presented by Nokia in 2011. Since then Nokia made a big device family including phones, phablets and also one tablet. Each device was different regarding size, price and specifications. Reportedly, Microsoft however will not make so many devices in the near future. Likely, there will be six phones: two low-end devices, two business devices and two high-end devices. Each second phone will be a XL-Version. So with only 3 phone forms, the current scheme of numbers behind Lumia (540,640…1520) doesn’t make sense anymore. There would be the name Lumia 550 (XL) or Lumia 650 (XL) for the low-end for example. Lumia 750 (XL) or Lumia 850 (XL) would refer to the same business device. As a buyer or user, I would wonder where the other numbers are.
Furthermore I think that Microsoft/Nokia has destroyed the reputation of the Lumia brand with the cheap phones like the Lumia 530. Lumia phones were known for their good cameras and with devices like the Lumia 1020 they were able to differentiate from other phone manufacturers. Now competition has caught up or in some areas even overtaken. So in my opinion one of the main points for differentiation between a Lumia and another phone isn’t there anymore.
How should the phones be named?
I hope that the new high-end phones will come with the Surface brand. Microsoft has established reputation with the Surface brand. People connect Surface with high-end devices and good hardware. Surface has not a bad reputation differently from Lumia though both are running Windows. Furthermore, Surface is also connected with business, an area Microsoft should concentrate on. In my point of view Microsoft has the best possibilities to gain market share in the business area because Windows is still the OS which is used for working in most companies. I think Windows Phones are the best devices for cooperating with Windows. Windows Phone fulfils high security standards and works well together with another device running Windows. In addition many companies use Office 365 and OneDrive. In fact these services are available on Android and iOS but on Windows Phone, Microsoft has the possibility to make an even deeper integration of those services. Selling high-end and business phones with the Surface brand can make it more attractive for companies because Surface tablets are already used in companies.
I’m not sure whether it would be good to brand the low-end devices (not clear whether there will be new low-end phones from Microsoft) as well with the Surface brand, because the low-end isn’t connected with Surface. I think the Lumia brand should stay for upcoming low-end phones.
My personal opinion
I would be very happy when the new high-end and business phones would come with the Surface brand. The reason is that people connect Surface with these two areas. A Surface Phone would supplement quite nice the Surface line. This idea fits also well to the leaked logo of the new high-end phones (same as on the Surface 3). Moreover, according to WindowsCentral Microsoft will offer a pen (much like the one for Surface devices) for Cityman.
The Surface phones can have all the features Lumia was known for: good cameras, camera button, Glance Screen. The Lumia phones can continue coming in many colours and having a good price-performance ratio.
I would leave the numbers behind Lumia for the low-end phones as it is. However I wouldn’t leave the numbers for the Surface phones like they are today with Lumia. My idea is to name the upcoming high-end phones Surface Phone Pro 4 (XL) and the upcoming business phones Surface Phone 4 (XL).
Image source: Cityman render by Windows Central