Rumor Mill: Nokia to launch $127M Windows Phone marketing campaign

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) will embark on a $126.7 million global rebranding effort as part of its launch of Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone 7 platform, according to the British publication Marketing Magazine.

The report, which did not cite its sources, said that Nokia will roll out the six-month campaign in October in conjunction with the release of its first Windows Phone device. The report did not indicate what kinds of media Nokia will use to get the word out about its transition to Windows Phone, but said the handset maker is coordinating with several marketing and advertising agencies across the world.

A Nokia spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, a Nokia spokesman told Marketing Magazine that while Nokia is excited about its Windows Phone partnership, "it's not our policy to comment on specific campaigns for unannounced products."

The stakes for Nokia are incredibly high as its moves away from its legacy Symbian operating system as its primary smartphone platform. Nokia has said that it is confident it will deliver its first Windows Phone device in the fourth quarter, and that it will provide a steady stream of new smartphones in 2012, when it starts shipping Windows Phone devices in volume.

Meanwhile, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer acknowledged at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference that Windows Phone hasn't exactly taken off since its global launch in October. "In a year, we've gone from very small to ... very small," he said, referring to the platform's market share. A report from The Nielsen Company last month found that Windows Phone commands just 1 percent of the U.S. smartphone market.

Nonetheless, Microsoft and Nokia are working together on the partnership, which was announced in February and finalized in April. Teams from the two companies have been conducting video conferences five to 10 times per week, according to a report in AllThingsD. The report also noted that Nokia transferred a top executive, Waldemar Sakalus, the vice president of the Microsoft alliance, to Seattle to oversee the partnership. Nokia also hired Kevin Shields, a former member of Microsoft's Windows Phone engineering team, to oversee Nokia's efforts to build on top of the platform.

For more:
- see this Marketing Magazine article
- see this AllThingsD article
- see this IDG News Service article

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