Nokia aims to be fundamentally different from other mobile partners. Elop says that was the reason why folks at Nokia decided to go with Microsoft’s Windows Phone. But down the road, Nokia did release Nokia X family that run Android. Now that the majority of the company is owned by Microsoft, the fate of Nokia’s Android smartphones and perhaps all potential Android future projects are uncertain.
At the Mobile World Congress, where Nokia introduced the Android powered Nokia X, X+ and XL, Elop said the company wanted to target the low-budget segment. The X line of devices “complements” the strong family of Lumia smartphones. Nokia is hopeful that its Android venture will pay off.
“We’re getting fantastic feedback. People are really excited with the new portfolio and clearly see it addressing different consumer needs and price points. Our Asha family is extremely popular in India and we see a great opportunity with Nokia X also.” said Jo Harlow, executive vice-president, smart devices and member of the Nokia Leadership Team at the MWC event.
Nokia X line up is based on Android Open Source Project (AOSP), and lacks all the Google Mobile Services such as Gmail, Play Store, etc. The company swapped these apps with Nokia and Microsoft services. This will definitely help Microsoft to expand its user base and gain some Android customers.
Nokia is selling this phone in developing countries like India, where a vast majority of people are yet to try smartphones. Nokia is targeting this user base and wants this phone to be the “first smartphone” for these people. The phone’s interface also looks a lot similar to Windows Phone. In a way, people flocking away from Nokia X will find Windows Phone friendlier than Android.
Nokia asserts that the X family is here to bridge the gap between company’s entry level smartphone, Asha, and premium Lumia Phones. It will be interesting how Microsoft perceives all of this. Logically, as of today, Microsoft is selling Nokia X smartphones, but the question is, will it continue to do so? Will it let Nokia produce more of such phones, or work on additional Android projects? Only time will tell.