Skip to main content

Nokia’s shrewd move with the Nokia X undermines Google, bolsters Microsoft

Barcelona – Early this morning, Nokia held their highly anticipated press conference here at Mobile World Congress 2014. Anticipated is the word used because while two new and admirable low-end entry phones were introduced – the Asha 230 and Nokia 220 – all eyes were focused on ‘X’.

Yes, Nokia has gone Android. But if you think that’s all there is to the story, you may be missing the point. We sat down with Jo Harlow, Executive Vice President, Smart Devices at Nokia, for some answers to our eager questions.

If you watched the live stream of Nokia’s presentation on the Nokia X, X+ and XL devices, you may have noticed that their message was crafted perfectly. Yes, the words ‘Android’ and ‘Google’ were used, but Stephen Elop was purposeful in focusing on Microsoft’s services and Nokia’s Lumia line. It was as if they knew that one wrong word could be misconstrued as “Nokia has doubts about Windows Phone” or that this new device series was an admission of failure.

It’s not though. In fact, the Nokia X and what it represents, is an extremely bold and shrewd move. To wit, Nokia is the first and only major phone manufacturer to spurn Google’s Open Handset Alliance (OHA), instead going rogue with the open-sourced Android. It’s kind of a big deal as once you leave the OHA, you don’t get back in. You also lose all of Google’s services. That’s okay though as Nokia and Microsoft have enough of their own services to make up for it. At least, that’s the plan.

“This isn’t just about price”

Windows Phone users though have one question: With the Lumia 520, why does Nokia have to release an Android phone? Is the cost difference that great when the Lumia 520 can often be found under $80?

According to Harlow, the answer is much more… devious. We mean that in a good way, as Nokia have a clear strategy to lure low-cost Android customers onto the Lumia X series. Sure, keeping the price below that of the Lumia line is a goal, but it’s not the driving reason behind the X series. It’s simply to go after a specific market. Owners of dumbphones, Symbian, low-cost Android, etc. are all the target demographic.

Think of the ‘X’ as a transition device to jump from Android to Windows Phone, minus the jarring experience. It’s also, as Harlow notes, a “reaction to the marketplace”, which has changed rapidly in 2013.

By wooing customers with low-cost Android devices to the Lumia X, Nokia hopes that the phone will serve as a gateway to the Lumia line of Windows Phones. That’s their exact intent. You start off with a good Nokia X experience, you finish up with a Lumia one. There’s a specific reason why Nokia made the X look like Lumia, even down to the Tiles that can change sizes and be moved around.

If there was ever a Trojan horse at Nokia, it would be the Nokia X. It runs open source Android 4.1, spurns all of Google’s APIs, and introduces potentially millions to Microsoft’s services. All in the guise of a low-cost Android device. You want a more powerful phone? Here’s a Lumia and look, it has a similar user experience.

It should be clear that Nokia making the Nokia X is not about embracing Android. It’s not about losing faith in Windows Phone. Heck, it’s not even about price (Windows Phone, with new support for the Snapdragon 200 and 400 series will guarantee that).

No, this is about putting a Nokia Lumia in the disguise of Android. It sneaks across the enemy lines and delivers most of the goods in a brave effort to lure deserters.

What’s in a name?

The name ‘X’ was certainly chosen for specific reasons. One of those it being a bit more ‘hip’ for the younger crowd. You have to admit, ‘Nokia X’ does have a ring to it. But the irony is not lost on us seeing a green X phone that is not focused on Xbox, nor from Microsoft.

Will Microsoft kill off X? And what about the future of its name? At this point, you can’t help but wonder if Microsoft did not all but sign off on the strategy. If they didn’t, Nokia sure seemed to appease them. Heck, Skype was even present on stage boasting about the opportunity. And because ‘X’ can’t be trademarked – it’s too generic – transferring the property Microsoft along with Lumia and Asha has no legal work.

That means that yes, the Nokia X will become a Microsoft property and no, we don’t expect them to kill off this project (though they of course could, once they take the reins).

Why buy a Nokia X over a standard Android phone?

Nokia is clearly banking on their name and reputation with the Nokia X. In fairness, the brand Nokia does mean a lot in countries like India and other emerging markets. Combined with the durability of their devices, bright colors and unique UI elements (like Fast Track), Nokia thinks that their differentiated experience will be leaps and bounds better than your run of the mill Android phone.

Indeed, playing with the Nokia X and you would think it was just another Lumia variant. Throw in brand loyalty, some free Skype minutes and access to multiple Android stores (Nokia claims that 75% of all Android apps will run on it without modification) and you have the makings of an interesting device. If the Lumia 520 can sell well running Windows Phone, why not something similar that runs Android apps?

Bringing it all together

While many in Western markets won’t make too much of the Nokia X, as a long-term strategy it’s extremely interesting. It’s audacious. It’s clever. And Nokia worded things just right so as to keep the detractors off kilter during the Q&A period this morning. The Lumia line is and will be Nokia’s primary smartphone platform. No, there won’t be a ‘flagship’ Nokia X device with high end specs.

This is a purposeful move to go after Android users, not to appease them, but to convert them. Will it pay off in the long run? It’s too early to tell, but the ‘next billion users’ are often cited as the only real growth market in mobile these days, and Nokia seems to be betting on that idea.

The Nokia X, a Windows Phone in disguise.

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

347 Comments
  • Well there is ofcourse an strategy behind It all, of only attention for wp/nokia
  • From the sounds of it, though, the device doesn't really run that smoothly (not surprising: it is an Android, after all, and Android phones tend to run like crap). I don't think the gateway strategy is a sound one. Sure, it's got Nokia and Microsoft services on it, but it's still an Android and I don't get the logic behind: "Let's first convince people to buy our stripped down Android instead of a regular Android and, from there, we'll convince them to get a Lumia!" Having to convince a customer twice is not as easy as convincing them once. They'd have been wiser going even cheaper on Windows Phone 8 handsets or re-launching Windows Phone 7 handsets as a stepping stone to Windows Phone 8.
  • +1
    The lumia 520 runs smoother, wich will make nokia x buyer jump the wp wagon later when they see the need of more smoother user experience.
  • Rofl. No. Just no. When people buy a phone/platform: Android Windows (let's be honest, WP), Motorola, Apple, Nokia, etc. and the first thing they experience is lag, they'll immediately chose a different platform/operating system the next chance they get, in this case anything but Nokia and WP. They should have just made these phones semi-decent with WP skin and shown what WP can do in addition to them.
  • the first thing they experience is lag, they'll immediately chose a different platform/operating system the next chance they get
      The number of low cost Android phones in the market pretty soundly disproves this theory of yours.  I will admit that most powerusers who buy high end phones would probably change phones if there is a lot of lag, but they would also understand that they can't expect amazing performance from a low end Android phone...
  • I think you are giving too much credit to the average uninformed consumer being educated by the average uninformed salesperson. Unless things change in a HUGE way, I will not be surprised if that uninformed salesperson bashes Nokia X, followed up by bashing Lumia. Next thing you know, uninformed consumer has been indoctrinated into an iDroid model. But stranger things have happened, and maybe X really will become a gateway OS to Windows Phone.
  • Well, I hope WP gains more users, but look at how stock market is responding. Nokia & scroogle up and Microsoft down. It's a sad day for WP and me!
  • Well that depends on the market. In many other countries they don't do that plus even if they did by costs they wouldn't follow anyway.
  • ZeeLobby, you're spot on...potential users will simply think all wp phones under perform and it doesn't matter how many apps are in the app store. It will  simply leave a bad taste in people mouths. If they were to eventally know that this is android OS skinned to look like wp, it might even move user away from Android and on to Apple, allowing them to begin regaining market share....This could be bad in more ways than one unless WP8.1 has a lot more than what's been leaked, personally, the windows 8.1 start screen interface, all of the leaked features, cortana, and a heck of a lot of advertising differentiating itself from this.
  • +920
  • I'll paint you a different picture of why they will NEVER pick a lumia and WP: lack of apps. It's like you buy a cheap car but then when you're moving up in the game (which let's face it, that is not the way the world works in 3rd world countries) you'll pick the inferior more expensive car. No, you'll just get a samsung galaxy with all your apps and skip WP. besides, if you're poor and this is all you can buy, chances are this is all you're going to buy tomorrow. It's not like owning an X makes you break out of poverty and suddently there will be a huge wave of upwards mobility and they'll all upgrade to WP. this strategy has to be the dumbest one I've seen yet from nokia.
  • Sorry, but unless you tried both phones, I'd not say that. The Nokia X was fairly fast and fluid.
  • You can't say that Daniel, you'll undermine all the fanboy talking points about Android.  Android HAS to be laggy and somehow you'll get malware on contact, or else, well, who the hell knows. Fanboy talking points that if you repeat often enough, they come true. 
  • Lol, true
  • +520
  • Lol, comment of the day for me.
  • You made my day :D Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • If you were refering to OMG55, I own 5 WP's, 2 iphones (3gs, 4s), and 2 Androids and each have there pros & cons. I'm assuming everyone here who is speaking of laggyness is getting it from the tech site reviewer as none of use here has on in hand to know personally how either performs. I have read several tech sites that have said they lag and under perform. From their reviews and what it appears Nokia/MS are trying to accomplish, all I'm saying is that it could backfire and potentially cause users to migrate away from both Android & WP in favor of Apple; I and the IT Manager for over 325+ people and I've seen first hand how people behave and switch platforms when a device doesn't function like they thing it should. Most dont want to try an higher-end unit of the same OS, they want something completely different. I will also go out on a limb and say both Nokia and Microsoft should have used the money it cost them to develop/manufacture these devices and just paid developer for apps...its the main compliant on wp yet the spend money on this???
  • Im sure its not just fanboy perception about android lag. I have used colleagues S duos and another's 520, the 520 is miles ahead in os smoothness, app load times, graphic processing etc.. High end phones are obviously lag free but low end androids are not.
  • I can attest to this. Just this weekend, one of my co-workers got a low end Samsung that was cheap on T-mobiles plans. Here son got it for her. She was previously using an iphone 4s. It took her a day to realize how crappy the phone was. When she brought it to me, all I could do was tell her to get a better phone. Samsung sells a bunch of these crappy low end android devices. If Nokia could make a slightly better one and pick up a bit of that market share, it will be worth it for them. 
  • I'm sure it does run smooth.......any poles on when we see a Nokia running kitkat???
  • ...i read earlier somewhere that the x devices will actually run kitkat from the beginning... so i was kinda surprised it's said to be 4.1 here on wpc...(?) ...dont remember where i saw it tough... :/
  • My former Android HTC was also smooth and fluid... most of them are, out of the box... until You actually start installing apps on them. Android is just not able to scale well.
  • ding...ding...ding...this. Exactly.
  • Political reasons for this phone aside, you should always try to give your customers as good a service as possible. Thus I feel them putting 4.1. on this phone instead of 4.4 which is tailored to lower spec handset was a mistake. Perhaps it seemed fluid to you Daniel, but other sites are reporting it is a bit choppy, they could have avoided that. Agree with everything you wrote in the article however, well put and brave move Nokia.
  • How do you know it runs smoother?
  • Were talking about android here, put facebook, whatsapp and other background running apps and see what happens with the limited ram.
  • I agree that WP with its unlimited RAM is much better. Or did I miss the point?
  • Yes, you completely did. Check out the forums to learn why just comparing RAM capacity is complete nonsense. The way RAM is used is very different on both OS'
  • Lol! So make a shitty forked up Android in hopes you switch to the smoother WP? But you've already given yourself a bad rep by then.
  • Agree. It's easier to convert someone from a low-end Windows Phone device to a high-end Windows Phone device... than from a low-end Android device that looks like a Windows Phone device... to a Windows Phone device. I'm doubtful this will work, but I suppose it's worth a try.
  • But you've made strides with the 520 in some of these countries. This "X" underscores the progress. Now with wp8.1, Nokia can go even cheaper with WP.
  • Not entirely. I am not one who is all out supporting this, but as stated above, the tact is to get people to buy into NOKIA, not Android. Yes, there is a chance that people MAY opt to go all out on an Android device as a step up, but it is also as likely they will opt for a more powerful Lumia with a more familiar UI and continued use of Nokia/MS core services.
  • If Nokia X will run 70% of Android Apps then when its time to jump to WP they won't because most of those apps probably won't be available. They are pa ing the road for these users to end up on Android phones.
  • By now there is a very small percentage of apps available on Android and iOS devices that are NOT available on WP, and many of those have equivalent apps on WP. Your argument that most of 70% of apps aren't available just doesn't hold water. BY\y the time someone buys the 'X' and finally decides to change phones, that small gap in apps will be even smaller.
  • Exactly, it's the whole reason Google went on their knees to Samsung last month, the Galaxy brand is stronger than the Android brand. People are buying Galaxies, not Android phones, Samsung could have switched to Tizen (or even WP) with their Galaxy phones and sold just as many millions as before. So here Nokia are banking on their name, giving people something better than Asha and a teaser for future WP sales.
  • I am not one who is all out supporting this, but as stated above, the tact is to get people to buy into NOKIA, not Android.
    Doesn't the NOKIA name go away as soon as the Microsoft deal is finished?
  • While i have my doubts, i think nokia will breed familiarity to wp. Moreover, this has potential to offer more apps (the strength of android) while getting Microsoft some users for its services. Overall worst case it doesn't convert people to w but it still helps Microsoft and hurts google. Its a no risk gamble. If it pays off brilliant, if not they loose pocket change.
  • Disagree. It's easier to convert someone from a low-end Android phone running Outlook.com and OneDrive to a hig-end WP phone... than from a low-end Android phone running Gmail and Google Drive to a WP phone. There - fixed it for you.
  • your right.....let me add that people will want a better android not switch to windows, because they will have all the apps already from play store, why should they start over with windows phone store....they might have shot them self in the foot on this one.
  • But they won't have apps from the Play store (no Google services). In fact, MS could make this better if they somehow integrate the Nokia Android storefront with a MS account. They are supposed to be working on cross purchases anyway (between W8/RT/WP). Add the Android versions of apps, and it makes the move even easier and more appealing. Buy a Lumia and all your corresponding apps are already bought! Buy a Google Experience Android device and...you get to buy them all again.
  • Nokia may have shot themselves in the foot, but Microsoft is a win win as the more adroid sales, the more royalties they collect either way.
  • There is logic behind this. It's actually so ingenious. I've never known a smartphone company to do a strategy like this yet it screams "obvious tactic" as if every smartphone maker should or has done it! I don't know what the software looks like yet, however, from what Daniel has been saying, it is designed to resemble Windows Phone... And I quote "even down to the Tiles that can change sizes and be moved around". It's like a bridge that is gapping the waters between the lands of Android and the lands of Windows Phone. It looks like an Android on the outside, but the software has been tailored to suit somebody who is looking for change (or maybe even not). I have to say as well.. Why would you just up and say "Android phones tend to run like crap"? A bit of hate for an amazing OS, no? I admit, Android on low wend devices can be laggy and slow, but overall Android is fantastic.
  • Agreed. The Verge did a handson test of the Nokia X and they were not impressed, to say the least.
    Using the X can be quite frustrating, however, as the entire interface is prone to slow response and a lot of lag. Closing or switching between apps on the X takes far longer than other, even entry-level, smartphones, and browsing the web will quickly test your patience. The third-party apps we saw on the X, such as Facebook, looked as they do on other Android smartphones, but they too suffered from poor performance. Nokia’s choice to combine the functions of home and back into the single back button is confusing, and it’s difficult to predict exactly where in the interface the button will take you when you press it.
    They say it can be part of the forked Android version 4.1 which doesn't run great on low power devices. Instead they should have used 4.4 which is far more optimized for low power devices. I'm afraid this whole 'X' project won't do Nokia any good in terms of reputation and marketshare. If someone buys one of these X devices and be frustrated about the experience and the lag, slow starting apps and internet browsing, they will walk away from Nokia instead of switching to a Lumia. Consumers are like that; "Oh this device sucks, so never a Nokia again!"
    I think this is not a great move by Nokia and I really hope Microsoft will pull the plug on this one as soon as the purchase of Nokia is complete.
  • Agree with the fact they should have used 4.4 to give people as good an experience as possible and build stronger brand loyalty. But don't agree MS should shelve this, they just need to update the phones as quickly as possible. It's a good plan, just needs to be executed a little better.
  • Agreed, this is the dumbest move ever. Microsoft must kill this project if they know what's good for them!
  • You are right about having to convince them twice. This article is just crap. Nokia was desperate so they went Android. They know Windows Phone isn't selling so there are converting and using some awesome spin control. If it was really that easy to convert Android users by simply installing four Microsoft apps, more people would have switched in the past. People can install a launcher and the UI is completely different. Gone is the Lumia look.
  • Front news on biggest daily online newspaper in my country is "Nokia is switching to Android" and "Nokia to eat humble pie after 3 years with Microsoft" All publicity is good publicity?
  • people forget fact that Microsoft saved Nokia from doom
  • yep......you see wpcentral i think that is the point you are missing read user4545 comment.......wpcentral needs to change its artical to actually talk about what people whom dont even use window phone would think, because thats who microsoft are trying to switch right???....users that are using ios and android.....
  • I'm sorry but this is an utter dumb idea and I'm surprised wpcentral is really spinning this so positively. This makes no sense whatsoever from a transitional phone standpoint.
  • This move makes all the sense in the world, as WP is strugling. Many dont get the business side at all. Best selling WP is the 520, that has the lowest profit. The situation is not good and again, this is a great move.
  • Please explain how exactly its a great move,
  • Some people find transition from one "thing" to the next impossible or off-putting. Imagine the Nokia X as literally a stepping stone or a bridge to help people slowly make their way over to the best place ever: Windows Phone. It's a simple but very potentially effective idea.
  • Really, how? With a few MS apps and a skinned homescreen?
  • Think of the other scenario - Would you find it easier to switch if you had all your data in Google drive and all your contacts in gmail? All your location bookmarks in Google Maps and all your music downloads in Google Music?
  • Either this, or the very real possibility that these phones will not sell at all and will instead cannibalize the Lumia 52x line.
  • micah dawson, your right this is not a good idea. people will get use to the android play store and not switch because the have all android apps.....this is just them trying to make market share going to android....and it works, you will find excutives trying to make a high end phone to compete with samsung and this will bring nokia money in the short run but will then turn out bad because samsung has much larger audience for android.....
  • I thought Google Play was out of the picture on these phones?
  • Ye...in both case nokia will win,if Nokia X succed than it will be failure of Lumia but not nokia,and if NOKIA x didnot succed than Obviously Low end windows phone like L520 and L525 wins so in this side also nokia wins instead of failing......just like case between nokia Symbian and nokia lumia
  • So moving up from one of these devices means changing operating systems and losing all your apps. Seems they would just transition to a better android phone.
  • After using this forked version handset ,cant u think people will switch to some other android handset with google playstore access?god dont tell me that after this three handset nokia will introduce some real android handset with google playstore
  • the whole idea is just to get Nokia phones in the hands of people, u put that phone in the nokiA section in a store right next to the 520, which one would u pick? (obvious answer here), but oh! the 520 doesn't have all the apps, but if ur still walking away with a Nokia smartphone, then its a win for Microsoft and Nokia, and any loss for Google and Samsung is good for Windows Phone, plus, people will be looking for Nokia Phones in the end like Danny boy said, can't backfire in the way u guys say, cuz if u sit this phone next to the 520, its obvious there's a better phone that integrates even better with the Microsoft services, if it does backfire, its because people just plain dont want either phone... its all built off of the success of the 520...
  • How will this phone have all the apps when the Play Store will not be onboard?
  • apps on android need to be made compatible with most individual device, u know how android has really bad fragmentation, its not just because of OS versions, its because of device diversity also, so its not new for developers to update their apps for compatibility, then upload to the Nokias app store, its very similar to amazons app store, so they are bound to have majority of the android apps available, with plenty of other app store options, slideMe is a really good one, some people have their apps on there and not the play store... plus u can load apps from the apk file... hope that cleared things up
  • That's up to Microsoft and or Nokia if they want to allow apps on the store. Hope that clears things up for you.
  • ????????
    wtf? u have a problem dude? I wasn't being sarcastic, I never said it wasn't up to them, u one of those people that just gotta have a word towards something? bitter MF'er
  • It's nokia's last horah!
  • I'll get one for experiment purpose, hacking....LOL
  • Same here lol
  • I'm also getting one. Then im gonna shit on a Tupperware for a week, put the phone in it and have it delivered to Stephen Elop.
  • They can trace your DNA from your shit, you know. :-D
  • Wait...uhm...shrewd move? So the move is to make emerging markets use more android than it has already and make them move to Wp?? Yeahhhhhh....shrewd indeed....good move by Google...i mean MSFT
  • It may be too clever by half.
  • Personally I think it's the same as when Apple would release a low-priced laptop running Windows with a Mac OS surface to get people to switch to more expensive Macs later. I also think it's pretty silly.
  • +2million
  • The main reasons that people have trouble switching to windows phone are app parity and ecosystem change (email, maps, cloud storage, etc). Rather than allow new phone purchasers (think a coworker or your parents) to get used to Google services and potentially lock them out of switching to WP, they now get them started with Microsoft and Nokia services.
    This also prevents Google from getting any money from these users. If these become successful in these emerging markets, they could steal the largest percentage of android users from Google. They would be pulling a Google here by using Google's own OS against it to gain ecosystem locking.
    With all the features coming to 8.1 it isn't hard to imagine a transition from the X family to the Lumia being very smooth in the near future.
  • yes! exactly, this is an 'attack' towards google, plus the phone will still sell... so eh
  • No Windows Phone 8.1 news ?
  • That's being saved for Build
  • So , a month and 7 days from now .
  • It sounds so clever, but don't you think they will be gaining more android users than wp users in the end?
    I mean how much of these nokia x users are actually gonna jump to wp?
  • Exactly. In general, if an android user wants to upgrade, he will look for another android, not a windows phone. He will obviously look for a better Nokia android and since there isn't one, he will look for Sony or htc or google nexus. For fuck sake, it's still android. I really really hope Microsoft kills this before this lays eggs of more Nokia Android. And kick elop in the butt for doing this..
  • I think you missed the entire point of the strategy and the story. Microsoft will not be looking to kill a project aimed at "the next billion users".  Too many times I see comments that generalize the market to what people know and see in their own country.  NEWSFLASH: About 2/3 of the world's population do not have the resources to purchase anything other than an entry level phone.
  • Their project for the next billions users should be called Windows. if they let this Android thing grow...Windows anything is dead...on tablets, PCs, other form factors and consoles.
  • This! Most people here just see it from their point of view. Hello, Lumia 520 is out for a long time already, if they want to upgrade to it they would have done so already. People still using feature phone because pricing is still an issue for them, and what stand between them and 520 is the cheap local android OEMs. Nokia X is the answer to these low cost local android phone, grab the upgraders and convert them, or lose them and be bound into the Google ecosystem.
  • Guess the person labeled as a mold for microsoft thought he could pull off the biggest hiest of all time.....guess were he will be once the Nokia deal closes? Answer: Unemployement line.....I hope he spends his 25million he gets from Nokia well
  • I don't believe they really care if they are going to sell more android or wp8 based phones, they run a business and businesses want profit and profit can be anything even if that is called Nokia X. More handsets sold, more Nokia market share, more profit... I think it sounds simple as that.
  • They've already sold their devices and services division to Microsoft so what profits are they working towards with this crap?
  • market share, whatever they gain on android, they will lose on windows phone 520....and at the end people will up grade to samsung...or htc so there goes your profit statement....if you want to take a poll just look at how many people on this comment section think this is a bad idea....this will give u an indcation as to how bad of an idea this is.....
  • By its UI, lack of use of google apps on googlle play, embedded wp apps, you wont look forward on android phones
  • I think we need to be looking at the facts and figures presented to Nokia executives before we judge the decision
  • Shrewd, incredibly shrewd hat tip to Nokia. Now I am definitely grabbing one -).
  • Could just have a negative effect for example someone who's never used a windows phone might believe they are only as good as these poor android phones.
  • But they know they're not. The only thing this phone is for is getting android users used to the WP format. Nokia has a really big name out there these days, everyone that is into phones knows that Nokia has some of the best specs on the market. So when they buy this one they will blame android because its known for being sluggish..when the Nokia x user knows Nokia is amazing they will switch to a new one. Its all about them making people hate android. Most normal users dont see it has Nokia making a bad phone they see it as android making the bad phone. Hence they will switch to WP due to the familiar looking OS.
  • +520
  • Wrong. Most normal users have trouble imagining what an OS even is. For most, it is not an Android phone. It is a Nokia phone. If they don't like it, they won't buy Nokia next time.
  • well most people do know that it is an android phone and android is known for being sluggish
  • It runs ANDROID apps, how is that a gateway to Windows Phone? Does Nokia expect people to come from having access to almost a billion android apps to WP with its vastly smaller collection? They must think their intended users are dumb, as does WPcentral with this "explanation".
  • 75% of Android apps. So it isn't a good Android phone either
  • That's 750,000 apps, still much more than WP and undoubtedly most of those won't be on WP. Its a sticking point now for new WP users it will be the same for Nokia android users; they'll just go to android to get the same apps.
  • I see your point, but there must be something wrong if it can't use all of them.
  • Read the article its forked so no play store. So please explain how this phone will have 750k apps.
  • Even half of android apps are still more than double of all WP apps. If 75% of all android apps, plus Microsoft and Nokia apps is not a good phone, then what is a WP?!
  • If people are limited to only using certain apps, blame Nokia. Do you think that in the future they will buy another Nokia device? No, they will say that they bought a Nokia device and it can't do what the others can.
  • Also, there is no Google Play store so it is neccesary to download apps to an SD card.
  • 75% of Android apps. So it isn't a good Android phone either
    I don't think that's right either. It COULD run about 75%, but does 75% of the android apps exist outside of Google Play? Certainly not on Yandex.
  • its not the same store. its a nokia store not google store.  It is a forked android device. think of it as just linux with a different name like all the other flavors there are out there.
  • A Windows phone in disguise? That thing looks like Android with Magazine UI.
    these are not Trojan horse devices, these are white flag devices. The Android army just won! Get ready to get assimilated by Android Central.
  • It runs Microsoft services. The point, you missed it.
  • And everything else it runs is android, thats the point.
  • My Galaxy S runs Microsoft services. it did from the end of 2010 up until last month when someone robbed my wife and took it from her. All MSFT services are on Google Android. Nokia is the only one not bringing their services like MixRadio or Here maps to Android.   There is only one thing Microsoft should do with these devices after their adquisiton of Nokia is complete: KILL THESE DEVICES. PERIOD! If the new CEO have any working brain cell he should DO IT by replacing these device bought by anyone with the equivalent Windows Phones ASAP even if they lose 7 billions dollars by doing it. if they let this project grow that sends a huge message to this new computing world: WINDOWS IS NOT THE KING ANYMORE. If Android is good enough for phones in emerging markets...then Android and ChromeOS are good enough for computing devices in this new computing world. Get ready to be assimilated by Android Central. I'm sorry but you are really wrong to think this project should keep on growing under the MSFT umbrella. ok. Thanks From a Windows Phone fellow in an emerging country.
  • Satya Narayana Nadella is an American business executive, engineer and the current chief executive officer of Microsoft. He was appointed CEO on 4 February 2014, succeeding Steve Ballmer. Previously, he was executive vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group, responsible for building and running the company's computing platforms, developer tools and cloud services.
    I think he might appriciate those new devices :)
  • "When god gives you lemons...you find a new god." - When Nokia gives you Android... uhm.
  • You find a new Nokia! :D
  • Which is Lumia :D
  • Its like having an "iPod" from Sony. You get the best of both worlds. And by the way many of you don't know but most of the time when i show my Lumia to anyone, they ask me if Nokia makes any android phone, because people believe in Nokia, here in India, & they think the only "smart OS" is android. So now they can have that share of pie.
  • EXACTLY - noone would ever buy that and that is the problem here!
  • The said the same thing about Lumia 520, looked what happened ? You'll be shocked how many people will buy this just because of the dead cheap price. 
  • That's because MS subsidized those phones to the point where they cost $50. While it does increase your user base, and make for good adoption numbers, your really not making any money.
  • ...and wp8.1? Now Nokia can actually make cheap WP with no subsidy, right?
  • This is cheaper than Lumia 520 off contract . 
  • All I see people doing is buying one of these and flashing another ROM on it to get full Android. I think if this happens enough MS may bin it. It's an experiment but how good of one is the question. Will it fail? Most likely.
  • I know most of us here have experience flashing roms and such, but the average user doesn't and they never tinker with their phones in that way. Also this article says it is not about the money, it is! The Lumia 520 is sold here in Ecuador at ~220, but only in direct importers. In most carriers it is around 350... Smartphones prices here are insane. If these X phones are priced here at around 120-150, they will sell really well. It is hard to admit but it is the truth, also considering most of the tech "geeky" guys tend to have a hatred towards everything Microsoft, and they pass their opinions to their acquantances. I will be able to lure the common user to nokia since they only care if the phone has android, I mean they buy those horrendous galaxy Young just because it has android, and it costs around the same as the 520 here... it drives me crazy.
  • How many average users do you see buying one of these? If they have to choose between a true Android device or a forked one, which will they buy? A limited Android handset or a full version? Also, I wouldn't say only geeks flash ROMs. Lots of people do it because it's not the difficult.
  • I'd say 90% of people, at least here, buy phones just for being "Android", regardless if it's a gingerbread or an unusable low end phone, all they care is for a handful of apps, hell blackberry still represents "status" here and people buy them, thankfully blackberry is becoming less and less popular, And perhaps in develop countries lots of people flash Roms, but over here forget it, not even most of my college mates ever heard of flashing android, and I study computer science, hopefully I can get the hell out of here asap.
  • There is one thing that I did not think of before but I just realised. Most of the users here are saying that these X devices will get people used to WP UI, and therefore they will be more likely to upgrade to a high end Lumia. Well the thing is, Most of people who buy a cheap phone are not looking to upgrade to a high end phone because they simply cannot afford it. The overall smartphone experience in countries like mine get better over time not because more people are buying higher end phones, but because the lower end become better, for example, An usual "upgrade" path is from an Galaxy Ace to a S3 mini. And I assume it happens fairly the same in all other developing countries. What will happen with these devices is not users flocking to Lumias, all it will cause is them to be waiting for the next X series, then the best MS could do force is Wp on those, but surely lose a few amount of users. I think the best thing to do is to scrap this and go full Wp on the lower end, remember those who buy low end phones usually stay in low end phones, unless the overall economy of the country(salaries) go up, but that can take a lot of time.
  • What if the ROM doesn't run well on the device?
    What about the fact that the target for this device are people who don't flash ROM's... (let's face it, that is already a VERY SMALL minority of phone buyers as it is.)
    What about the fact that the target market for this device are people who don't even own PC's or tablets... so how will they flash a new ROM?
  • I'd much rather buy the Nokia 220 and 230
  • I think its not going to work...sorry but put a pathetic performance on hands of customers won't make them stay on your branch...i hope Microsoft kills this shit straight after the acquisition
  • Hopefully Microsoft will kill this the first they do when the acquisition is done.
  • What happened to the Demo models? lol On point..; I get the feeling Microsoft is the ones behind these devices, perhaps they asked Nokia to do their bidding for them. There is no way they could have gotten Microsoft services ( like free Skype credits and Skydrive) without having Microsoft blessing and corporation. 
  • Then those guys @ Redmond are retarded beyond belief. Almost all their services barring Office are on Android and iOS.
  • Think its pretty well established that Microsoft are off their rockers....
  • yes, they need to take advice from apple, apple doesnt even give simple programs like imovie to other platforms.....nokia want to feel the android market they made there choice and now they have to compete with samsung....good luck with that nokia...samsung makes hardware.....like really makes hardware
  • Difference is Microsoft and Apple make money differently , Apple is a hardware company with handful services, they make the bulk of their money from hardware. Since iPhone/iPad and to OSX to some extend have a comfortable marketshare they can choose to make apps only for their platforms. If they didn't have goodmarketshare of their products, they'd be force to support other platforms ( ie. iTunes)    Microsoft on the other hand makes their money from services, they cannot just restrict it only their platforms since, they'll lose out if they do. They've always made apps for other platforms... heck they even made Office for Macs before windows. 
  • Microsoft kill this thing before it hurts WP momentum... Please.   It doesn't matter what the INTENTIONS are, as I believe Mr. Rubino's write up here is actually accurate as to Nokia's plan.  It matters the perceptions.  I SO RESPECT a company that takes chances, and Nokia does that.  Usually love it and will defend it.  But @Ricardo Dawson comment is true- it is being percieved as an admission by Nokia they couldn't survive as a WP company, and the purchase by MS started that perception.   This so offsets and completely overshadows all the good news of WP 8.1 coming and all the OEM's jumping on WP in the next year.
  • Why is there no Like and Thank buttons in this section???
  • Agreed..
  • This makes no sense to me no matter how I look at it. They release a phone which supposedly runs sluggish (says the verge in their hands on). How on earth is that going to pull people into WP experience wise (which runs beautifully on low end hardware, ironically) The supposed upgrade path - at least from today's perspective - looks like a joke at best, expecting the average dude to ditch all his/her apps and rebuy, reset and redo basically everything they had on their X. Again - not even in the same ballpark as going 520>1020 or whatever. Cost - and I agree there - ca hardly be the issue here, especially taking msicrosoft's latest announcements of low-end SOC support into consideration. Say what you want, but one key element of WP is it's beautiful design. This is ugly as sin. Like a 12 year old tried to copy a great product. The UI looks like my grandparents decided to design somethign. Broken record, I know, but why would ANYONE get this over a 520? Ever!  Finally, this plan - even if it is so shrewd it sails right over my head - will always be interpreted as lost confidence in your own business model. That alone may well cause more trouble than it could ever do good. Shrewd plan? Don't get it, sorry
  • Very smart move from Nokia. The best is that the fcking Google has been fooled. Looks like Nokia really doesnt like Google (neither me). If I remember well, some 5-6 years ago N. refused Googles offer to start making "regular" Android phones. Whats more Nokia "abused"Googles  Android on MS cloud services, ha ha ha.   Google did the hard work for MS/Nokia (developed Android 4.XXX) but MS and Nokia will be profiting from Googles OS  ... 
  • This is disgusting and I hope MS kills it on taking ownership in a few weeks.
  • They will hammer this thing to oblivion.
  • I would bet that Microsoft bought Nokia when they found out about the development of the X range and will indeed kill it as soon as possible.
  • Can't think of a reason to buy it.
  • "Nokia’s shrewd move with the Nokia X undermines Google, bolsters Microsoft" And screws WP.
  • ^This
  • I'm on the "can't see the point" side. It's almost as if this is the result of the anti-MS faction within Nokia released just to spite their future employers. As many others have said, it's not that much cheaper than the (infinitely superior) Lumia 520, which, I notice, is now available off-the-shelf in your local Sainsbury's for £75 off-contract. Either way, it's already being wilfully misinterpreted by numpty tech journalists as a concession of defeat by Nokia and MS to Android.
  • "introduces Microsoft services to millions..."?! Exactly what services are you talking about?! What Microsoft services is android missing?! Skype, no. Bing search, outside of the US (and maybe UK) sucks. Bing news, sports, health, translator, etc?! No one will ever change OS for those. Bing maps or here maps?! Seriously?!
    Now that im familiar with android im gonna upgrade to a Windows Phone?! Yes, that'll work.
  • Is that a picture of Benny Hill?
  • I find it even more hilarious that they didn't go with KitKat, which has performance increases on lower end hardware (Moto G). So basically your handing customers a sluggish WP...
  • Lol.. Moto G hardware are not low end, they are mid range hardware. This is what I think about U.S tech person: they have very little knowledge about entry level android phones at unsubsidized cost, so I think Verge might be comparing it with Moto G while complaining about Nokia X,which is funny as Moto G 8 gb cost twice as Nokia X here in India. Also Lumia cost $130 cheapest. So if Nokia priced this good it would sell but yes entry level android lags but having seen the Verge hands on this one is quite decent.
  • Its a sign of nothing, because this is all irrelevant. Microsoft will kill this whole thing when they get the keys to Nokia. Want a POS Android device running on Nokia hardware? Better grab one of these things, because these will.probably be the first and last of them.
  • The logic behind this I m unable to understand,how android handset will be useful for windows phone platform?if price is nearer to L520,or L525 than think most of the people in India choose this Nokia android and not Lumia because as it is android so obviously their will be more app ,oh god full of confusion....is it sign of new era of nokia on android platform?
  • I've got a feeling that most exclusively loyal Nokia Windows Phone owners are going to grab one (i sure am) meaning this has already had an adverse effect on the shrewdness of this plan....it's converted the WP crew to Android!!!
  • Interesting and bold/risky strategy.  It will certainly get Google thinking hard about impact on their advertising revenue from the next billion users in developing countries.  If you can get X users hooked on MS/Nokia core services over the next 1-4 years then migrate them across to full Windows Phone 9/10 (X perhaps?), by which time the MS app store is closer to parity with Google Play (and MS has fixed up its teething issues with Win 8), it could well pay off in the medium-term. Also remember that they can potentially undercut other Android phones by a few dollars by not having to pay the "Microsoft-Android" tax on every handset. The potential downside is clear (eg. lack of Win app development), but only MS/Nokia is positioned to provide a strong alternative to Google Play Services that can strip Google of its ad revenue stream. Think of it as a numbers game.  If they can get X% of users to buy a Nokia X instea of a Google phone and upgrade Y% of those users to a WP, they're ahead of the alternative. You've got love competition and it will be fascinating to watch!
  • Why would I ever buy a lumia after buying a Nokia X though?  MS has all these same services on every android and iphone as well.     I think MS and Nokia assuming that people won't want to change interfaces and go to Android is not a smart gamble.
  • ^^^This. It seems everyone is missing the point of this device. Yes, many MS/Nokia services are already on Android and iOS; however, they are not prominently displayed. A user would have to dig around to find and install. I imagine most non power users either just use the default Android iOS services and apps or they just pick the top rated apps from the store. By crafting a custom Android phone, Nokia can put its services and Microsoft's front and center. Nokia is a strong brand, just like Samsung and Apple. When people see this device (which is not for the average user on WPC), they are going to buy it because of the Nokia brand and the Android brand. Right now I suspect many people have a very positive image of Nokia, but are hesitant to buy a WP 8 phone because the WP brand is not well-established yet. So, they instead choose one if the many Android phones that surround them because they are cheap and they have Android which is a very established brand. With this new phone, Nokia can grab the many people who like Nokia, but aren't quite ready to take the plunge into WP. These people will see the Nokia brand, see the it runs Android...and buy it over other less brand established Android devices. But wait, there's more because this phone has Nokia/MS apps and services preinstalled and ready to go (which the average user is not going to change) and a UI that has strong similarities to WP. In a little while when that user is ready to get a new phone, all of a suddenly, WP looks pretty good because one is already hooked into MS and Nokia services and one is already familiar with the UI. So, they buy WP (why buy Android or Apple when you would have to switch to their services and learn a new UI?)
  • +1! I couldn't agree more. This is exactly what I taught about forked Android on Nokia X, and I've digged some MSFT apps out there at the play store, and it's so hard to find. By utilizing forked Android and putting their apps and services (mine prefer OneDrive, Outlook, and HERE Maps and Drive), they should lure people to use their services. And, of course, with no ads at all, rather than other Androids! That's what I like from Nokia and Microsoft.
  • A trojan horse to make droid users love the WP UI
  • I understand the intent, but it's still a bad idea and sure to backfire. And what's the word on Lumia 220?
  • Cool. I was watching the live stream early this morning and was excited to see how smooth the UI flowed and how much more "Windows Phone" like the Nokia X is, even down to the keyboard. I was excites to see the strategy that I predicted Nokia(Microsoft) going in, actually coming to fruition almost virtually to the "t" of what I predicted in my post- The Nokia Normandy/X - Nokia's(Microsoft's) Trojan Phone.
    http://jltechword.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/the-nokia-normandy-nokias-mic... The phones actually look much better than I thought they would. Not as cheap. And then then the addition of the X+ and the slam dunk with XL. Awesome move Nokia and Microsoft. Awesome move!!!
  • I feel betrayed somehow.
  • This so called screwd plan makes no sense whatsoever. As it has been already stated not only is the price difference between these crappy phones and the 520 minimal, it would force any would be converters to lumia to repurchase all their apps while realising that many arent there at all. The only way this will work in Wp favour is by showing people how crappy android really is in low end hardware.
  • Most android users don't purchase anything apps or games in growth countries.
  • These "X" devices better make a name for themselves. Otherwise both Nokia and MS gonna look bad, thus WP will look bad.
  • If the phone can run 75% of Android apps. When theses people switch to windows phone 8 and can't run their favorite Android apps they will be pissed. bye bye Nokia.
  • There are a lot of people out there I know that are just scared of smart phones or don't see the point of them. The Nokia X may well be most peoples very first smart phone. Look at the cheap low end galaxies, they are very cheap and nasty compared to the Nokia X but same price. After using MS OS Android seems alot more complicated to use. This is a training phone for people like my friend Andrew, in his 50s, to get them on board the smart phone experience and hopefully if they like the experience direct them towards windows phones. That's why most people on this blog just don't see the point of this Nokia X, there are people out there don't even know what a blog is. I may consider buying one of these for instance work, or being in a harsh urban or country environment where I may feel a bit uneasy about my lovely and very special Nokia 92+. Or even to go on holiday in Asia. Windows will always be No1
  • Dumb phone to WP is a jarring experience?
  • Omg how I hate this Snorlax woman!
  • Really don't understand this strategy. Nokia is now fragmented across two platforms and sending a mixed message. I'll stick with wp and continue to recommend it to others.
  • It might be profitable for Nokia to sell a lot of cheap handsets, but I think it will hurt the MS ecosystem in the long run. Simply because what WP needs is a larger install base to remove the chicken and egg problem. This way there will be fewer WPs to develop for than there could be. Not to mention it's creating a jarring experience to move from Android WP to normal WP. Also it's confusing. It's confusing for me as a WP follower let alone for the regular customer. Keep it simple stupid.  
  • There is nothing positive for the WP platform with this move. The mental gymnastics used by this article to make it seem so is astounding.
  • Maybe he's got Sochi fever....:)
  • This Nokia Android store may even have something to do with the rumors saying that they want to enable Android apps on WP, at least that would make some sense after all, they wouldn't be bounded to Google Play and yet bolster the app count.
  • I see them move to w.e. & make it better then that crappy Verizon social phone
  • I lost faith in Microsoft with mobile after my Motorola A3100 Windows Mobile 6.1 phone - then lost faith in Android after my Sony-Ericsson X10 running Android 2.3.3. Full circle though I'd give Nokia a try with the Lumia 800. I'd been following Windows Phone 7 as a curious Android user very dissatisfied with the speed (very dissatisfied). Loving my 920. Windows Phone was the middle ground - not as beta-ish as Android, not as locked down as the iPhone. An Android built to immigrate Windows Phone could get more looking sideways at Windows Phone - especially with 8.1 coming out.
  • Think all of the resources that could have been used to make improvements to the Windows Phone platform that were instead wasted trying to make Android run/look like Windows Phone. If a Nokia Android Windows Phone Skin X provides a marginal user experience, why would a user upgrade to a Nokia Lumia? Most consumers' first reaction would be to try a competing manufacturer's device next.
  • Looks alright being that its Nokias design buuuut androids android im keen to see wp8.1 complete and ready for the masses more then anything at this point
  • There are very few users who wanted WP. Me personally wanted quality Nokia after iphone and samsung androd. I just went on WP because that was a sacrifice to own a great phone for great price (Lumia 920). Now I got used to it and with coming 8.1 i think i will finally like WP. But even then I would buy only Nokia. In my country WP is really rare and everyone laughs when they see this interface, compared to all mighty and popular android & ios. So I think this is really good strategy
  • WP is strugling a lot. Best selling device, 520 is not making any money to the manufacturer. This is a great move! And a big FU to google.
  • Always that WPCentral was much more than a fanboy site ... This article makes me doubt that ... just as the articles in TimesofIndia announcing Nokia ditching Windows for Android are off the mark ... If India is a target market , one key behaviour specific to India is that its a handset driven market and not an operator driven one so upgrades are difficult to control ... plus i strongly believe that the market segment these phones are after ... those people do not really change handsets that frequently so the stepping stone to Lumia argument looks weak ... Considering that these phones are positioned between Asha and Lumia , what i would like to know is that were there any significant issues with scaling up Asha ? From a feature perspective , what functionality will these phones bring that couldnt be developed on the Asha line ?
     
  • Ok, if you own Nokia Asha you would have noticed that Asha apps are not polished,they are just basic java apps, Asha also does not a working PDF reader, basically Asha is a feature phone that Nokia tried to label as Smartphone. This phone is actually an up gradation of Asha phones, Nokia while announcing the phones never said it as an Android phone but as a Nokia phone with Android app compatibility, this in itself addresses the main weakness of Asha phones: quality apps. I think they just rebranded it because Asha phones have been refreshed twice(1st Asha touch like 305,308,311 and Asha platform like 501,503) so as not to fragment it more. Asha phones all run the basic s40 at their core,that would not have been upscaled anymore than what Nokia has upscaled running only java j2me apps. I think we should look at this phone as Asha with android app compatibility,then this makes sense. Just hope they get the pricing correct. Also Nokia hoped to replace s40 with meltemi a low version of Meego which was scrapped,this phone using android 4.1 clearly shows that this phone was started as meltemi was scrapped,that was when android 4.1 was newly announced.
  • I knew this would be the reason but I'm split whether its a great idea or not 1) you're using Android as lure yet 2) you're making it look and feel like WP and sold at the same price a la 520! Well, at least this will calm the the many defectors and fanbois freaks who always wanted Nokia to go Android.
  • There are some major flaws in their plan.   1) If I purchase the Nokia X, spend $25 on apps over a year, I'm most likely to buy a nicer phone that already lets me reinstall my apps.  Guess what, someone will manage to get the Nokia Store onto any android device.  The whole strategy isn't thought out well. 2) If this thing runs as poorly as other blogs are stating, people will start to associate MS services with bloat and slowness.  They won't blame the shitty OS, they'll blame the services that run on it.   Nokia, I am disappoint.
  • To think about it, this whole "luring" strategy is absurd! The hard work done with the 520 to get developing countries to switch to WP is underscored by this "X". Now with w8.1, Nokia can make WP even cheaper! The "X" is not necessary! WP Is already a simple OS.
  • If you can afford or care enough to spend $25 on apps in an Android store that is filled with free apps, then why would you choose to buy this phone? It's not aimed at you.
  • Agreed..tough spot for him to be..
  • I feel bad for Mr.Rubino for being in the tough spot. He did write this article as positive as possible.
  • Yeah seems like a waste of resources to me. Just give them the 520 in the first place that probably runs way smoother than these and is priced the same. That Trojan horse stray seems like Google sent us the Trojan instead of Nokia to the masses.
  • Nokia's Nokia X can get people to think that MS's WP finally fail because even their biggest OEM, Nokia, have to get Android. This is completely different than MS could plan to launch office app for ipad ealier than Windows table.  I don't understand why MS try to kill themselves when they are going to prepare their biggest and important update since WP lanuched. MS have spent tons of money and effort, time on WP's PR for years but this stupid move make their effort and money spent for years be useless.
  • The concept seems to be a good one, but they should have gone with at least 1GB RAM, made it thinner (say 9 mm) and should have gone with Kitkat 4.4. People would have grabbed them. Most reviews talk about noticible lag. That I think is due to the RAM limitation.
  • Which entry level android has 1 gb ram? Nokia started making this phone when android 4.1 was announced, it takes time to make something.
  • Nokia is using the open source version of Android. The open source KitKat version wasn't even released until Dec 13th. I would assume this phone has been in the works for at least 9 months before that.
  • wpcentral don't try to spin this because people are noticing it very quickly....this is not cnet were if apple poops in a box its still number one. Second, sending people to the play store will not drive them to window phone lumia, in fact they will alway wait for a better nokia android or they will go to samsung....lets get real here there is more to the phone then the hardware that has been windows phone problem from the start....and now your going to give android more power to use there nokia store/play store.....wpcentral can write whatever they want but the market of windows phone buyers are much bigger then wpcentral and i don't think they are happy about this because they know that this will make developers less insterested in developing for nokia/windows because now they have nokia/android and if it kicks off big the nokia excutive will be forced to listen to there share holders and customers and make higher end android phones until they competing with samsung and then they will fall flat on there face and will end up like HTC
  • What people dont seem to realise is that this phone is targeted at markets and people who love 'Nokia' and dont care much about the OS. A lot of people who bought Windows Phone for example in India only bought them because they were Nokias. The same type of people are going to buy these phones. Nokia is targetting the people who are switching to cheap Android phones (not samsung, HTC etc) from Feature phones.
  • I agree with the title of the article but I disagree with the contents of the article.  It is indeed a shrewd move by Nokia to get into the android handset business.  Another revenue stream that most likely will prove to be lucrative (evidenced by the 520/521) for Nokia which they desperately need(ed).   Please keep in mind that this project was started a while ago.  Nokia WPs didn't exactly light the world on fire so Nokia did what it HAD to do if it expects to be a going concern.  Additionally, the low end android market is clearly an area where the Nokia brand can compete.  It would have been crazy for Nokia to attempt to compete against Samsung day 1.  Additionally, it makes sense to give 'em android while promoting your own services and msft's for that matter.  It would have been total surrender to include Google's services.  It is my opinion that Nokia would sell more devices if they went with regular android but I understand why they can't at the moment. I completely disagree with the premise of the article.  These phones were born out of Nokia's desire to survive as a company and not some master plan to give folks a taste of Nokia android with Nokia/Microsoft services built in and then have 'em switch to a Nokia Window's phone.  That's simply too far fetched and an unrealistic gamble that would NOT likely been approved by the board. The real interesting question is what will Microsoft do if these phones sell well (does anyone know when the acquisition will be finalized).  It is not as simple as profits are profits.  The fact that Microsoft's services (revenue streams) are baked in, that's a potentially compelling reason to continue the investment.  However, if it means the erosion of profits in other key investment areas, that's reason for pause.  I expect that this will be looked at closely each quarter and that there are tagets that will trigger certain events. Lastly, if Microsoft wanted to launch an android phone with its services built in, they couldn't without admitting failure of its mobile OS.  Only Nokia could have done it for them.  One theory is that Microsoft could have been one of the key drivers behind this from day one.  We all know there is money there to be had; it is just that Microsoft could never be the one to kick off the initiative without the media headlines "Microsoft admits failure and jumps on the android bandwagon" etc.  However, if they inherit a successful product, no one would fault them for keeping it if it didn't harm another business unit.  Additionally, I am certain that there are some Microsoft board members who wish for Microsoft to get on the android bandwagon and sell its services.  So again, I agree with the title of this article but not the reasoning.
  • Exactly! MS can always blame Nokia if it fails... If it works, it can say that it was a good move to buy the Nokia mobile division! I am sure this will make money. It is so easy to adapt Android apps to this Nokia X environment.
  • I might pick one these up just to run the few Android apps out there that will probably never come to WP.
  • Well that should run Windows App eventually if that is there plan.  Otherwise, what the heck is the point?  I'm a new user -- I know it runs Android I get used to Anroid apps or whatever is there in the Nokia Store and when I transition to Lumia WP those apps are not there?  WTF?  They should put Windows Phone apps there but then again why go to all that trouble?  Maybe this is what Elop has planned if he is not MS CEO?
  • The first photo looks like shes comparing a genuine lumia with a shitty Chinese fake. If they put the X next to a Lumia 520-530 or any other lower spec'd lumia that's a similar price in a shop nobody will pick the X, it will die a deserved death.
  • Wow lost of second thoughts on Nokia,Microsoft,WP,and android!
    Why couldn't ms make a forked WP version????? I've said before ms feels wp is already forked....reason behind going for competition????
  • A super long explanation and still doesn't make sense. Who would upgrade to a real Lumia with less apps. Still think this is a mistake.
  • +3million
  • "Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."
  • Damn straight, Ripley! :)
  • Brilliant
  • Friends, we must understand that this is a strategy, not an isolated action. I do believe there is more steps in this strategy than we know now. The picture I'm seeing now is: - Get Windows Phone UI widely known; - Get Microsoft services widely known; Okay, this could be done with advertising but, it would cost much and has no garantee of return. Thinking like an investor, the reason behind all kind of business is profit. So, this strategy can make nokia/MS adversite about "WP Features" and make some money. This is the first step we are seing. The second step is: When this person, wich is using Nokia X, decides to change his/her device and goes to a store, he/she stay close to familiar things. This is the human nature! So, the choice will be a Windows Phone because, in thesis, they already now this UI and the services behind.  The third step: We will see more Android users "loving" Windows Phone interface and Microsoft services, the idea is "let they know there is something beyond Google/Android", they will change mind about Microsoft and smartphones. We also must remember that nokia originally is not an american company. It was from Finland, so they have a more wide vision of makert I believe. Nokia, in good times, conquered the mobile devices world from a small country, they know how to reach other Markets and by doing this, there will more profit to invest in more rich countries like USA, UK, AU, CA...   After all, this is strategy, one move from others that will be done, just like a player in a chess table, watching to the whole picture...   Regards from Brazil :)              
  • +920
  • are u trying to get a job at wpcentral because your spin is close....nokia is now going to send people to purchase android apps. making the window apps less in demand....thats the major problem at hand....you think that nokia can compete with samsung in the android market, well i got news for you so far everyone has tried...but samsang really makes hardware.....like they really manufacture real hardware for them for apple etc....they are alway going to have an edge.....android nokia will push people to buy a new samsung where they can still get microsoft apps....this is not a great idea for long term....unless microsoft will just give up on windows phone and just make a few apps.....that might there move if they head down this road who knows...only thing for sure is the fans of windows phone do not like then artical spin....
  • I thought Brazil has a high rate of WP users. So what's the strategy there?
  • I believe it is to become WP more known... I know, it's sound weird, but even here we have high rate of WP users, there is some that dont know Windows Phone. It's because here, we dont have any advertisement about it on public TV. some months ago I saw an advertisement on cable TV. This kind of publicity dont reach all the Brazilian public...  So, I believe that who is using WP here or is a Microsoft developer or, didnt have an android before, or are older people. For example, a friend of my wife was looking for a Lumia, because she like the Tiles, the fonts used in the UI, because they are easier to see.  
  • Isn't that way too simple? I wish it would...
  • "Nokia’s shrewd move with the Nokia X undermines Google, bolsters Microsoft" really??? are u kidding me.....people are reading this and are like what????  
  • Any polls on us seeing a nexus phone running "forked"WP ?.........yeah doubt it.....see how stupid that sound! So why Nokia on androids n$ts beats me.
  • So a new smartphone buyer walks into a store ... Nokia sales guy at the counter shows him 2 phones ... one is cheaper than the other by $ 25 to $ 35 (Rs 1500 to Rs 2500) ... the cheaper one has higher number of apps and the flexibility of sideloading apps ... Why would the guy buy the more expensive phone considering both handsets are by the same OEM ??? 520 is in trouble !!! A young person with a budget walks into a store ... sees 2 phones ... one cheaper and the other more expensive ... the cheaper one has greater option of games since it does not have RAM limitations ... both by the same OEM... which phone will the person buy ? 520 is in big trouble !!!  
  • Ok, but you have to admit this if you are from India, that Nokia losses about 80% of its feature phone users who wants to upgrade to smartphone to android, even if they want to buy a Nokia phone they don't because its not android and that they are told their is far less apps for windows phone so they don't buy Nokia,they buy Samsung or Micromax. With this strategy, Nokia is trying to hold on to those users who wants to upgrade from feature phones. Also people from developing countries don't upgrade their phones for 2-3years. So when the customer is ready for upgrade, Nokia hopes that windows phone OS would have matured enough and caught up in the apps department,thus making Lumia the obvious choice. This strategy actually is delaying users from adopting Android now and gives windows time to catch up with apps or whatever. Windows would have lost the user anyway if he/she chooses any Android phones outright. But, yes Lumia 520 is in deep trouble.
  • Lets look at it simplistically ... today Nokia has the less than Rs 3000 phones (feature phones), the range between Rs 3000 to Rs 5000 phones (Asha) and then Rs 10000 and above from which Lumia takes on ... However Samsung, Micromax have a lot of devices in the Rs 5000 to Rs 8000 range which are Android phones with lower specs ... the Nokia X range is trying to hit there ... My point is ... you have loads to ecommerce sites selling the 520 in the Rs 8500 range ... push in some more marketing funds there ... bring that price down to Rs 7500- Rs 8000. And upscale the Asha with larger screens and address the Rs 5000 to Rs 7500 range ... The big problem is the perception that this move creates ... howmuchsoever we try to spin it ... this is basically Nokia agreeing that they want to win the entry level smart phone market with an Android device ... Let me give you an example ... Would Apple ever ever EVER allow their iOS on a non Apple device ? iOS is also losing marketshare , they do not have a presence in the sub Rs 30000 space ... So did they armtwist any other OEM to use their iOS and make a cheaper phone ??? I am sure brands like Karbonn, Micromax would give their right arm if they could license iOS ... Apple tried the 5C and it didnt work ... the latest rumours are that they are pumping up production of earlier models like 4 and 4S to address the lower price segment. Coming to your argument that this holds on to users and delays their Android adoption ... how ? the user is buying an Android phone made to look different. He does not have access to Google Play but still can sideload apps ... This move just gave users one more set of choices when it comes to entry level Android phones. Plus as i said earlier ... India is not an operator driven market ... every sale of a phone here is a new unique one time transaction ... 2 years later ... the person looking to upgrade will once again evaluate all options before him ... and the bet is on , having liked Nokia & MSFT apps , he will choose the same ... entry level phones are known to have issues ... if the user has had a bad experience with the X range , the greater chances are he will stay away from Nokia for quite some time !!!
     
  • I get what you are saying, but even if he buys nokia x and use android apps he is not affiliated with google services,he doesn't need google account to download apps or even sideload apps,that's what is ingenious of this strategy google cannot count this user as android user because he just uses android apps that nokia provides or sideload free from other sites he is actually a Nokia user bcoz he would need nokia account and if he uses Microsoft services,Microsoft user(remember we are talking about 1st time smartphone users). Also Galaxy Y was such a laggy, unimpressive device,why did those users upgrade to higher galaxy by same company,which was how Samsung took over the Indian market. Also you think people who bought Lumia 520, upgraded to higher windows phone? That's were you are wrong, No they did not. Lets face it windows phone is miles behind other OS, at least in apps this at least will buy windows some time and when he chooses next,hopes that it would be a Lumia phone(as he already has Nokia and Microsoft account) and also hopes that windows would be filled with apps at that time. Asha phones are not smartphones they just run java apps(basic j2me apps) that have low nemory like 2-4mb and can never ever compete with androids, I would feel cheated if they cost ₹7500. Nokia really tried to upscaled it but its not possible technically,that's why they went this route. But, yes Nokia is banking on its brand to lure customers, lets see how it works out.
  • what will they do to wpcentral name now.....i got it nokandroidcentral.com yeah that sounds really good!!!
     
  • Actually i buy the idea..see people don't buy low end wp(like 520) becoz they don't want a wp..so they won't understand the benefits of it. But with x they can experience windows and once they like it (like we all do) they can shift to wp..and about the apps..well sooner or later they should come to windows..
  • wrong they will upgrade to better android phone.....hello!!!!
  • Not really coz x is more like windows than android..the UI is different so are the apps..
  • Since when do android apps work and look like WP apps?
  • Read the article again it says only about 75% android apps are compatible with nokia X..also you can't download them from play store..what I'm trying to say is android in X is more like windows than to Google's version of android..since UI is same..
  • Good article.  Do I think it will work? No.  If I was a consumer in this market, there is no way in heck I would buy an Android phone without the Google services. 
  • I don't get this move by Nokia.... Everyone knows android is highly customizable. Whats stopping any Nokia x buyer from,changing the UI to look more like android? Androids have options to allow apps to be installed even if its outside the play store...one my friends that have a windows phone the first thing he did was download google cause he didn't like Bing. So just cause something ships default OEMs shouldn't expect it to stay that way.
  • The X is a good idea for Nokia. It made more sense before the MS purchase, but it still works as a revenue booster. Unlike the USA and Canada, the rest of the world purchases cell phones differently. Largely based on price, connectivity, and brand. The Lumia 520 is Nokia 's best smartphone entry for this market, but it is still on the high side when compared to the available Androids. Right now the entry level smartphone user is the fastest growing market filled with small brands. Ideally Nokia's name should make their entries more attractive. The WPish feel will help in the long run with adaptation to the tile UI, which is sometimes a problem when selling WPs. Basically, the X line is to make sure no crumbs are left behind. The only issue that I see is the XL. For $10 less I get a bigger screen, more ram, front facing camera, Android ecosystem, and a flash...this will challenge the 520. They need to lower the price of the 520 by $10 and make the XL $124...or keep the 520 and XL out of the same markets.
  • Why buy Nokia! A tailored WP experience (like apple) is much more attractive than using Nokia to lure users with MS services. They are definitely behind this project, but I can't understand why!
  • If the phone is popular enough, I am sure someone will create a method to root it and add the Google services to it.  Much as we have seen with the Kindles. 
  • Consumer walks into mobile phone shop: Salesperson: Hi how can I help? Consumer: Hi I have this Nokia X phone and I'd like an upgrade. Salesperson: Sure, well if you like the Nokia X we have this Nokia Lumia phone. Salesperson shows Nokia Lumia to the consumner. Consumer: Looks nice and looks similar to this one. I like Nokia and its bright colours.  Consumer: Can I transfer all my app purchases to this phone?  Salesperson: <long pause> well no... it actually has a diffrent app store. Consumer: hmm ok but it does have APP1 and APP2 right? I use those all the time. Salesperson: <long pause> well no... Windows Phone Store doesnt have those apps yet but I'm sure it has a similar alternative.  Consumer: Whats that phone there. Consumer points to some Andoriod Phone. Salesperson: Its the Galaxy S5. Consumer: Can I tranfer my apps to that. Salesperson: Yes Consumer: Ah but what about my Xbox Music subscription... Salesperson: Er actually Android has Xbox Music App Consumer: Good. Ah but what about all my photo's on OneDrive. Salesperson: Er actually Android also has OneDrive Consumber: Does it have Nokia Maps?  Salesperson: No sorry but it does have google maps. Consumer: Ah I use that all the time on my PC. I'll take it. Consumer purchases a new Android phone.
  • I'll add one; Consumer: Can i have Nokia Mix Radio purchase transfered.
    Salesperson: Only on Lumia.
    Oh i think it is less likely a person bought apps on budget phone. It is well.. Budget.
  • nice!!!!! well said....that was my point this whole time.....Daniel or wpcentral take note publish it and send it to nokia.....because that is the reality not what we read here today....wpcentral is in a tough spot to try to make nokia look like they love there base and sticking with them.....but its not true....u cannot publish that.....its like politics
  • Well said. This move by Nokia is braindead retarded.
  • Nice analogy...except for the big flaw that the customer that is likely to be attracted to this phone in the first place probably hardly buys any apps and is very unlikely to give two shits about transferring them to another phone (probably doesn't even know you could do that), and neither is he going to buy another phone because of that reason. I know of many people who converted to Android from feature phones for example WHO DO NOT EVEN HAVE A GOOGLE ACCOUNT. They take it to an "expert" who helps them download apps for a fee, not aware they can do it themselves for free.
  • No Xbox music subscription growth countries,so no go also I am stressing this point again and again budget android customers of growth countries don't purchase apps,they sideload. The only downpoint I am getting is will this hamper windows phone store app growth? MSFT already has to bend over backwards to get developers. And seeing the hands on this is quite fluid of course its not like Moto G but then Moto G is not an entry level android. Also this is like Nokia Asha with android app compatibility that's what Nokia is telling everyone and it is with features similar to Nokia Asha platform like fastlane with no multitasking. Nokia is also hoping to get virgin smartphone users not existing android users with their brand name(they still give the best customer services here in India). Also maybe this will make Microsoft to act fast and update Windows phone more, they really need to see the world outside of North America.
  • I sad, in an older post, Microsoft has to, literally, pay developers/company to release WP version of the Apps... if you dont have at least the same apps, it's very hard to get people from Android/iOS. It's like to buy a car, nowadays a car is not only about having 4 tires, 5 doors, etc. It's about confort. So, if you wanna fight for somespace, at least you have to offer the same confort, in mobile case, the same Apps.  
  • This is simply Nokia trying to strengthen their brand in emerging markets by giving virgin smartphone users, many of whom trust and value the Nokia brand (and are used to their signature products) something more powerful yet still very affordable and recognizable to switch to from their Ashas, Symbians and Series 40 phones, while introducing them to the WP Ecosystem. For them, who are mostly OS agnostic and are more brand-loyal than app-obsessed, a Lumia would be a much more natural next step in their smartphone evolution than an Android that would present a challenge getting used to the vastly different UI and paradigm it would present. Even if it cannibalizes the sales of WP, it's not going to do so in the developed world (where market share statistics influences developers' decisions), and, besides, as Nokia is now part of Microsoft, any money or service usage it generates still benefits MS anyway. It's a great move.
  • Why I think this strategy is not only mess but also denting Windows Phone and exclusive Nokia experience (there is an image below this text, not showing in my browser) Consumer Confusions: 1. First time buyer - Should I choose Asha or NokiaX 2. Asha User - NokiaX+ or Lumia 520 3. NokiaX user - Lumia 520 or NokiaX 4. NokiaX+ user - Lumia or NokiaXL or some other brand Developer confusion: 1. Should I continue WPDev?
  • This "too clever" or "shrewd" move just doesn't make sense in my opinion and I can't believe how come WPCentral smoking it so loud. It won't lead people to buy Lumia but a higher Android. It's like killing WP before it grows...
    Here in India (saying because Daniel mentioned it) when someone see my Lumia 520 they ask is it 720? Maybe most don't know the obvious reason but at least they can spot at once, its a Windows Phone and its really getting more and more popular. I myself manager four of my friends to get a Lumia and they are happy. But many couldn't because even the lowest priced model costs $150 (we don't have carrier variants to reduce OEM price). In such cases a lower priced WP could make it, be it WP7 or 7.5 but a WP looking android would only ruin WP reputation and make them get a higher android...
  • The interesting part is using a Microsoft account on a Android phone instead of Gmail.
  • a Microsoft account can still be a Gmail address.
  • The laymen, feature phone user doesn't know Android and Windows Phone. He does know Samsung and Nokia. After laggy lowly experience with this handset, forget anyone ever getting a Nokia. Also, all those Microsoft services that will lag and crash with miserable RAM, will deter anyone from using Skype over Viber; OneDrive over GDrive; YouTube vs real YouTube. See where this is going?
  • That seems true until we see a hands-on review of Nokia X and after that, I highly afraid it will come true...
  • Yeah, but this is forked android... none of that stuff is offered on the phone because it doesn't, can't, and won't run the google play store.
  • I don't get it... The goal here with these Nokia Android phones is to get people to go from a cheap Android, Symbian, dumbphone or feature phone to Windows Phone? I don't get it. :-/
  • If you want the facts, go here: http://developer.nokia.com/nokia-x
  • hahaha! Nokia X looking more cooler than any Lumia device. Funny but Nokia X have better app and more number of apps than any WP devices.LOL!
  • Very nice product. We are talking 89,99 and 109 EUR for a basic smartphone that will get a lot of apps. For poor nations, low income people this opens so many possibilities! MS would be crazy to kill it, because it will also highlight the better performance for a bit more money of WP8 devices. But for many, that little more money is too much for their first device and this Nokia X series will deliver the basics!
  • What happens if Nokia sells millions and millions of these? That would prove the Nokia fanboys right since a high end one would sell like hotcakes.
  • SORRY, I HAVE AN ISSUE WITH THIS BUSINESS PRACTICE Samsung tried both Windows and Android phones. Unfortunately they half-baked the Windows Phone line and put their best HW on Android. In business you have to give it your best all the time. No surprise they couldn’t get their Windows Phone line to succeed when they didn’t put in the required effort. Nokia is now trying both Windows and Android phones.  Seems like they have another half-baked approach again, but opposite of Samsung. What Daniel is trying to say is that Nokia will persuade people to buy a Lumia because the X phone is inferior.  Problem is that it is too late, since Samsung already established that Android phones can be better than Win Phones.  I understand the thinking behind this, but at the end of the day these types of business practices stink. IF YOUR GOING TO DO SOMETHING DO IT WELL OR NOT AT ALL.  DON’T TRY TO SCHEME PEOPLE.
  • So this why MSFT bought Nokia's handset division. Elop is a very shrewd businessman! WP8 comes out and Nokia becomes the de facto WP8 company with 90% share. However, WP8 doesn't take over the world. Nokia starts developing an Android line and waves it around in front of MSFT early last year. MSFT panics and starts talking buyout ... but the deal falls apart. Nokia plows ahead with the Android development and when it becomes obvious to MSFT that NOK is serious, MSFT caves and buys them out knowing that NOK going Android will kill WP from a market perspective. I would *not* want to sit at a poker table if Elop was one of the players!
  • I don't see how this will bring you to use a Windows Phone. All Microsoft services are available on Android. If anything this is a gateway to the user's going with Android and get a better experience and still use MS services
  • Anytime wp rocks...
  • I don't see this as a strategy to help Microsoft or bolster Android at all.  Elop said what he had to say because, I'm convinced, he was held over a barrel on this.  I believe that somewhere in the fine print of the acquisition deal with Microsoft there was a way for Nokia to get away with producing a new line of devices IF they were new AND could get them released before the official date of the acquisition.  I think this line was an intentional thumbing of the nose at Microsoft by factions within Nokia who hated the partnership with Microsoft to begin with and are angry to be losing the devices division to Microsoft.  I think, unless Microsoft does have a way to kill this line of devices immediately after official acquisition, you will quickly see a de-emphasizing of the Microsoft services on the devices and a hard push for Nokia's services...and probably the death of Windows Phone.
  • I wouldn't call it the death but Nokia is definitely going the Samsung route and overemphasizing their services and deemphasizing MS services in the long run
  • Here is the perfect example why elop isn't going to run Microsoft... Ricardo is right pull the knife out of your back, say we're giving you all free upgrades and put down this idiocy.
  • Why would they make a phone now for MAYBE a future purchase of a Windows Phone in what 2-3 years??? Developing market ppl don't upgrade every year. This is a bad business move.
  • That's what maybe they think when developing market people who bought this phone upgrades, windows phone will be mature with all the apps, thus they will buy a windows phone not android due to the similarity in ui.
  • +520
  • But that definitely is a bad move. People will buy a higher Android after using X. The fact that windows phone is still behind Android proves that people gives priority to "APPS" over "UI". No one can disagree that WP has better UI and runs smoother than any version of android but can't they see what all these years have brought? It's like a stepping stone to Android phones not WPs...
  • People whom this phone is targeted at certainly do not value apps over UI. We are talking new smartphone users, who are still very comfortable using slow, buggy Ashas, Series 40 and Java phones but are hopelessly lost when they see a UI that is vaguely different to what they have been using all their lives...people who pay "experts" to help them download FREE apps to their phones. They would certainly be more comfortable moving to a relatively familiar UI, especially if it is from a brand they have trusted over the years, like Nokia.
  • Nokia losses most of its users who upgrades from feature phones to android outright, because of its apps. This entry level androids are laggy as hell but they dont care. This is the scenario now,even if they want a Nokia phone, they dont buy a Lumia bcoz they also want an android. This users adopt android outright. Say, a user from developing mrkt buys this phone bcoz he liked his Nokia feature phone and can run android apps, he has not adopted android he has bought a Nokia phone which can run android apps. Windows phone OS will grow mature and lots of apps will be made in the coming years, what Nokia is banking on is by 2 years windows phone would have enough app to convince this user to buy a Lumia due to similarity of UI, come on we would buy something we are familiar with if there are enough apps to entice this user. This same user would have adopted android if he bought a galaxy or xperia today, but as he bought a Nokia X, google cannot count him as an android user and make money off him with advertisements,thats really a kick to google. But, Yes the decision to choose OS even though delayed would be again in play when he upgrades, if you think 2-3 years from now windows phone will still be lagging behind in apps, then he chooses android but if you think windows would have enough apps and grown much more there is a good chance he will choose windows. Lets face it windows phone no one chooses now due to lack of apps, I used Windows due to Nokia. 100 others choose android but with this phone at least it gives windows time to catch up. But, yes it could go both ways.
  • I think they are hoping to get people to be loyal to the offerings (MS, and Nokia) than to an OS.
  • Bad move because MS offers all their software to iOS and Android. Meaning u can still be pro MS and be as productive on an Android/iPhone. Hence why I think this is a bad move.
  • I think that is a good way to also strenght business with Android developers and try to persuade them to develop for WP. With the announcement of BBM, Facebook messenger, Photoshop express and so many others that are turning to WP, the Nokia X could be some sort of incentive to increase the mobile equallity.
  • If the device works as I hope it does than this is a clever branding play by both Nokia hardware and Microsoft services in the markets this device will sell.
  • I thought this was a Windows Phone website, but duede your so obsessed, you keep going on and on about Nokia's Android offering. Ever heard of Android Central
  • Will it run windows phone apps
  • Nope
  • Yeah, lagdroid apps then windows phone apps and magic hat the next....
  • Do you find the demo of the phones lagging? If not, shut up.
  • The decisive point will be how it performs compared to other androids of the same price. Nokia's phone build quality and appearance will definitely attract customers. Good move on Nokia's part.
  • I think Nokia X was because Asha X Lumia = Nokia X. They had a slide that said that.
  • Wait 2 years, with component prices falling, such a basic smartphone will sell for less than $40.- and replace the Asha line.
  • More like a gateway for WP users to go Android.
  • Aside from the tiles the UI is completely Android like. So please tell me how this is gonna make people buy Windows Phone???
  • Exactly. If anything, I would think the experience would steer those who try a Nokia X to later upgrade to another Android. Maybe not a high range one like a Galaxy Note or HTC One but to something maybe in the midrange area by HTC, Samsung, Sony, etc.
  • There is absolutely nothing android-like in that UI. No home screens, no pull down notification area, no dock or android buttons, completely different app drawer concept. It is vastly different, and any ungrounded person who goes from this phone to a regular android phone would be hopelessly lost.
  • Have you seen the video of the UI and not just pics posted here? It even has WIDGETS!!! The home screen isn't even like Windows cuz it has folders and when u scroll to the bottom and has toggles. Don't rely on WPC for this.
  • I have seen the UI in action on other sites, and it is NOTHING like Android. All the apps are on the single home screen as there is no separate app drawer, and multitasking is done by a swipe to the right. There is a single button that takes you back a level with a tap, and takes you home with a long press. Widgets may be technically possible, but I'm really wondering how they are possibly going to for comfortably on that home screen design. I repeat - it is NOTHING like regular android...it is far more similar to iOS in paradigm.
  • Widgets are not techincally possible they ARE present. It has swipe from top to reveal quick settings just like regular Android and the settings menu is identical as well. Even has some toggles right in there like stock droid. In other words, no one is going to be using this and be remind of Windows Phone.
  • Sorry but, it has pull down notification like an nokia asha 501, widgets they mentioned I see them, but it doesnt look like its able to multitask like an android and the app folder is more like wp app folder than android. For me who has used Asha 501,503 its like an Asha phone with tiles instead of the squircles app list. Every thing looks like asha even the settings,except for developer mode option to sideload apps.
  • App folders are not like WP. You can drag an icon on top of another and it creates a folder and widgets are full featured. No one has shown multitasking yet but it should work just like on any android only held back by low ram. Again this is more Asha and Android. Nothing here looks/acts like WP.
  • Ok, I didnt see them make the app folder but it does look like the wp app folder, the tiles one but as you mentioned it does work a bit like android app folder though. Umm.. looks interesting might convince my cousin to this instead of the android phone he plans on upgrading, as actually he wanted a Nokia and an android phone. He was really apprehensive about WP could not convince him to even try out 520.
  • The pull-down shade, from what I've seen, is for quick settings, not notifications. Notifications, along with recent apps ("multi-tasking") are accessed via a swipe to the right of the home screen.
  • Think ios here. Even if people want to leave ios and get something different so many of them won't because they are tied to the "ecosystem" (  <----eginning to really hate that word!).
    If Nokia and MS can get BRAND NEW USERS tied to, Nokia, HERE, MS (OneDrive, Outlook, Skype etc, they willl be more likely to stick with it and buy up and eventually land on a Lumia.
    Where this becomes touchy is that all those services are also available on other OS's.
  • That doesn't make sense because Microsoft services are already available one EVERY OS. So there is nothing here to tie them to Windows.
  • The well trusted Nokia brand and familiar UI will oblige them to, at the very least, consider a Lumia first and foremost when upgrading before anything else.
  • It wouldn't. Users can now enjoy MS services on Android phones too. With full suit! Why will anyone get Windows Phone and suffer the fate of having much lesser outdated apps? I'm getting Nokia XL for sure, and ditch away my Lumia.
  • There's no way that Microsoft will continue with this product. It's DOA. I think it was just Nokia's "plan B" or blackmail if you will to get acquired by Microsoft.
  • My doubt w/ this strategy is, would this result in an even more crawling growth and development of WP.?
  • If anyone had any doubts that this is just an android phone with a semi-WP skin have a look at this http://mynokiablog.com/2014/02/24/video-nokia-developers-easy-porting-on.... This phone runs ANDROID apps, nothing to do with Microsoft. Can someone explain how they think someone is going to go from that to WP as a natural progression because of a few app you can get on android anyway??!!!
  • This will get canned pretty soon, we won't even be talking about it this time next year.
  • One word....Traitors!   Can't believe Microsoft is allowing this. Nokia did an excellent job building Windows phones and I love my 1520 but now my loyalties are being second guessed...
  • C'mon man, you gotta read. MS has no say-so in any of this until they OFFICIALLY own the part of Nokia they bought.
  • This is all about shareholders. For Nokia, they are able to distance themselves from their commitment to Microsoft prior to the sale of their devices division. For Microsoft, they are able to answer the question for whether they should fork Android without the risk of doing it themselves. More than likely, device sales will not increase substantially despite access to 750,000 Android apps. This could help shed some light on the app gap and it may encourage developers to consider a Windows Phone centric UI. Either way, they are able to appease their shareholders and move on to the business at hand.
  • i bought 2 Lumia 521's for my parents, as upgrades from Samsung dumbphones. $80 per phone. I was happy to put them into Windows phones. but they're oblivious, neither "Windows Phone" or "Android" mean anything to them. i could easily have bought them a Nokia X around the same price point, and with the same basic features, and still tied into the Microsoft/Nokia ecosystem. most of us reading and commenting here probably do, but many phone buyers/users simply do not care about OS.
  • I would defo not mind seeing fastlane on Windows Phone. A swipe to the left! Much better than having to drag down a screen a la iOS and Android.... Very interested in one of the Nokia X's!
  • so interesting move MS/Nokia. i'll buy one if/when available in US. i love my Lumia 925 but i also use a rooted Kindle and wifey's iPad occasionally. let's give this "next billion users" strategy some time/space and see where this leads.
  • You guys are missing the point. Android got the Google to mobile world. And now, ironically , biggest threat to Goodle is Android. OHA was created precicely to combat this threat and with Nokia X threat it's finally becoming VERY real. Amazon was first to do this but Kindle product was not that mainstream so it was never really a real threat. This product very much is. Yes, you can get Android on a cheap phone WITHOUT relying on google services and YES 75% of apps will be just fine. This is showcase on how to do it. If it sells (and I hope it will) many other manufacturers who would like to move AWAY from Google will follow suit. Yes, even Samsung wants to do this. And yes Google is working closely with Samsung to try to prevent precicely this from happening. But if product like this can lure developers to move AWAY from propertary google APIs than Google has very serious problem at their hands. Did anyone watch last Google devoper conference? did anyone noticed complete lack of new Android or new handsets at the conference? That conference was ALL about non open source products. What they really tried to do is to build such a good closed source API that developers will be almost forced to use it. If someone like Nokia with MS serivces can come ahead and give developers alternatives than PUF, just like that other OEMs will realize that yes, they can have Android without Google. And this my fellow reareds becomes even more critical as more and more Harware OEMs realize that there is very little money to be made in high end theritory and that low cost phones is only remaning true growth. And boy, with hardware OEMs keeping Android but moving away from OHA ... will that ever turn the ballgame on its head...
  • I think you are vastly overestimating the future success of these devices. No guarantee people in emerging markets will buy these when they can get the real thing from any android OEM.
  • There is no threat at all. Google services are not part of the AOSP. So, users using AOSP are not going to have integrated Google services on their phones. Hence, Nokia X is going is MS cloud services and HERE maps instead. Google will still be going strong with their niche Google version of Android.
  • MSFT could always release a "firmware update" to these abominations that's actually WP8.1 and hey presto you've got a bunch of WPs in peoples hands :)
  • i don't know. Some people will complain, especially if they were using apps not available in WP. It will hurt MS image massively, keep in mind that they don't have a good image right now either, it would be terrible. What I think would be the best move is to make the next generations, if there is ever one, run WP 8.1 Or at the very least show a very clear warning message before the update, and having the possibility of not updating the X phones, people get pissed off really easily.
  • They should allow people to replace these devices with the equivalent Lumia if they want. Even if they lost 1 Whatsapp by doing this. Not a firmware update.
  • Not a bad idea
  • I have no doubt that this phone was in development long before the Microsoft buyout process started. Cell phone design life cycles are generally 2-3 years. When the Microsoft buyout happened they had to figure out how to both deal with current Nokia projects already green lit for production as well as determine the future product direction for the company. A couple things that I am sure influenced them down this path is that the emerging markets need dual SIM card support and support for lower end processors (below the WP8 spec) to keep price down. Both of these will be supported in WP8.1 when it is released but that doesn't help for phones that were being designed back in 2012. I would imagine that unless WP dies, you won't see many more Nokia Android phones in the future. Right now though they have made the best they could of an awkward situation by making these phones as ‘Windows Phone like’ as possible while still keeping new phones coming out of Nokia for emerging markets and hopefully keep revenue coming in.
  • Yes, yes, yes, exactly, someone else gets it! It is all about Dual SIM. Even though Windows Phone 8.1 is due to be publicly shown off at Build in April, it won't be in devices for months after that. WP8 was shown off end of June, but the devices with it launched end of October 2012. 4 months. Windows Phone will not get Dual SIM support until 8.1 comes out. You can bet that the networks in say India have been pestering Nokia, asking them to make a Nokia branded Dual SIM smartphone. Basically without Dual SIM, a phone is sunk in India because: The coverage of networks is badly fragmented - go to the next town and it is not a given your network has coverage there The country suffers from electricity brownouts so sometimes you need to switch networks to make a call Some networks do the best deals for calling other mobiles, some have the best deals for calling landlines in your region, and some have the best deal for calling landlines outside your region. So by switching SIM you are shopping around and saving money I bet when Nokia then fed this need for Dual SIM support in WP back to Microsoft, the response was "we are going to have to wait how long? OK, then you've left us no choice, we are going to have to make an Android phone". This thing is the result. Striping out anything Google and putting in Microsoft and Nokia services was likely to try and at least partly keep MS onside as a partner for Nokia. The moment WP8.1 ships, there is no longer any need for Nokia X, it will get dropped like a stone, you watch. However, I can see this whole idea backfiring. Will people get a good experience with these devices? Will they get confused about what apps it can and cannot run? Will they get annoyed when apps that embed certain Google services, like Maps, won't run at all (Yelp, Foursquare, etc)? Will they be annoyed when a few months after they buy this device, they find out they've been taken off the market and they have bought in effect yet another dead end platform (after Symbian and WP7)? Will they associate all that bad feeling with the Nokia brand and decide never to buy Nokia again? You betcha. Really, Nokia would have been better off waiting for WP8.1 and making a proper Dual SIM Windows Phone, using the lower cost chipsets MS have just announced support for. 
  • The real question is if Nokia felt they could wait the additional 6-7 months for 8.1 to come out to release these phones. I would guess the answer is no; especially since this summer and fall they will be tooling up their factories to produce actual 8.1 phones.
  • If this is the extent of your Nokia X coverage; you should have saved the airfare and provided a link to Nokia's website because you didn't answer any question they didn't nor provide any unique perspective on the new product line. This is the problem with WPCentral and other similar sites, you basically rewrite press releases and pass it off as 'reporting' and it isn't. 
  • We'll see
  • I don't like the idea of Nokia making an android device either, but the market this phone will likely be offered to idn't really worried about OS's or anything like that. Like it has been said most people who this phone is aimed toward don't own PC's nor tablets... in short, they aren't the type of folk you see here on this site. To that end, offering (what will likely be to them) a vanilla OS, with Nokia and MS services does make sense. If you want to get people using your services, and hopefull hooked on using them this is not a "bad" way to do it. Not to mention with them breaking google's bullshit OHA they won't be doing anything with any offical android OS from here on out.
  • I think this move will at least be hit in Indian market..don't know about us and uk..but obviously will take time at least a year or so..
  • Vast majority of people thinking this is dumb simply can't think outside the box of the developed world.....mostly north America, some Asian countries, and western Europe along with a few other countries. Here we have all the flagship devices.....and basically know nothing of phones like the Nokia Asha series. This strategy is Not likely to be successful here. That's why they are targeting EMERGING markets. There is actually a world out there where many still don't have a cell phone and most don't have a smartphone as we know it. This is intended to get a cheap Nokia device with a wp slant into the hands of a few billion people in emerging markets who don't have a smartphone. What do people in the villages of Africa or south america know about screen lag time......they would be thrilled. Not sure that even The Verge has grasped this.
  • And when they eventually upgrade will they upgrade to the platform where all their apps exist or go for a platform which more than likely doesn't have the apps they want?
  • The so called app gap will be a non factor within 1-2 years.....especially with wp 8.1. Biggest gap between wp and IOS/android is the total number of apps with 500,000 of those being crap copy cat apps. WP has probably 80% of popular apps and more will be coming in the next couple years.
  • Don't delude yourself, WP won't be anywhere near the number, quality or range of apps on android in that time. Not to mention its a totally different upgrade path from a low cost WP where all you have to do is just login with your Microsoft account and all your apps are there. Their natural progress will be to android and all this "Microsoft services" bs will be for naught.
  • If they like the cellphone experience then yes they will. And besides, windows phone has almost every common apps that are present in android. Well it may not have 50 youtube apps, but who cares? I prefer 1 great app than 50 shitty ones... Other than that, it may not have the same amount of games, but the companies are rapidly acknowledging WP.
  • The cellphone experience will be dominated by android so that will influence their upgrade choices.
  • I dont' know if I take it as a victory for MSFT but you can argue google wins too when WP losses. and WP just lost its last stronghold with nokia: budget. no more 520s and if you look at that line, it was the best seller. WP is basically a dead platform.
  • Looks like the Chinese tried to knock off windows phone lol
  • Resources would be better left to make dirt cheap windows phones and hoping they upgrade to a higher end one in the future.
  • Damn, GOOGLE MUST BE PISSED WITH THIS HAHAHA
  • I'll pick up the Nokia XL and hold onto it til the day Cyanogen Mod supports it. Because we all know, if its running any kind of Android, it can be rooted. I've been a WP user since WP7 but have been wanting a Nexus 5 to play around with. Also have a Nexus 7 as well as a Windows ASUS VivoTab, but this will be a perfect compromise between the Lumia look, and Android OS once its rooted. Maybe even duel boot :)
  • I think they stuck with 4.1 so hackers couldn't have as much fun. If these apps don't become available on high end lumia what's the point?
  • Kill it with fire! \
  • Thanks Nokia, once again a clear Android-trolls win! Cannot tell, how many "the war is over" postings I had to endure this morning. I can safely say, that my next WP-device will certainly be NO Nokia; have just de-installed any Nokia-branded app. And it smells .... desperation ... late monetarization of research efforts done by hard-core Nokians. Those devices aren't NEW; they are dumbed-down Android 4.1-phones without updates, lacking all the benefits of having an Android (namely the Google Play Store, as every other marketplace has problems to catch up and keep apps up to date), poorly executed with a laggy and alien UI (due to The Verge hands on) and some MSFT and Nokia services (i guess, pushing HERE services is a Nokia priority as of late). As it stands, they will not be viable contenders to other low-specced Androids, and of course, not to the € 25 Firefox OS phone. I wonder, using the latest WP8.1 build and avoiding the hassle of supporting a Android store, could the € 30 price gap to the Lumia 525 could've been closed? Vendor lock-in in the mobile sphere works through the app portfolio. MSFT already knows this well, as every year we see its "Android apps on WP" list updates. 10pc of apps - regardless if paid or not - being not available on WP will simply destroy the transition argument. Service-wise, Google has more than enough transition tools to make a transfer easy enough. The main argument of the article is self-defeating. Either Android runs smooth on a X device; then, WTH have they told us the last few years? And: then why change horses, with all MSFT services being available on Android? Or Android runs like crap on a Nokia / MSFT phone; Samsung will happily point to this simple fact, with the WP UI burned into the consumers mind as being laggy crap. I honestly cannot see a single X-phone-user converting to WP, regardless the service backbone. The main results of this: developers will be once again left in uncertainty over WP, just another MSFT marketing desaster to happen!
  • Whether or not the strategy is effective at getting people to defect from Andriod, might be up for debate. But you can't really knock wanting to infiltrate the Android market for their foothold.  Whether or not WP pans out, they can work on expanding low end market.  This makes sense. Again, whether users will recognize that a solid experience on X device should naturally lead to uprading to a Lumia, is another issue.  This is sneaky and crafty - especially featuring MS/ Nokia content.  People often are reluctant to leave platforms due to investment.  This can mean the literal monetary value of their investment, or also their application use and experience.  I'm a fan of this in low end markets.  Interesting call, Nokia.
  • Here's the real question. Once a company ignores the google guidelines, they aren't allowed back in. Does that mean that if Nokia wants to start making cell phones again in 2016, they won't be allowed because they forked Android?
  • The more x Nokia sell the greater the market share for android. I don't like it.
  • May be nokia wants their legs in every platform,Symbian? yes nokia has,windows ?yes nokia has,android?yes nokia has
  • This is my standard response from now on concerning this android crap. To quote Ellen Ripley: "I say we take off and nuke the entire site(read: Nokia android line) from orbit. It's the only way to be sure." SORTED!!! Kudos to the Ripley reference earlier.
  • A MS manager was quoted when asked about the the X line: "With some things Nokia is doing we are really happy about, with others we're totally not". So it's pretty clear that MS is not in boat with the X line.
  • Excelent :D
  • I was up watching it and the message was clear to me they said Microsoft services more times then android or google mix radio got a few shout outs too. It's clear that this phone is for new smart phone users here and the rest of the world. Also they pretty much killed the dreams of die heart android users thinking they will even get an android with a Lumia design
  • Nokia to Google: "So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish"
  • I just don't get it. Perhaps the greatest strengths of Android is tight integration with Google's services. Regardless of this board's preference for WP and dislike of the Android OS, you've got to admit that Google is amazingly innovative with their services. And these Nokia phones won't have that integration!  Users will have the weaknesses of Android without its strength. There won't be Gmail, Google Maps, Google Now, etc. Just laggy, battery-hogging Android. I'm at a complete loss. 1. How will offering low-cost non-Google Android phones lead consumers more easily to WP than the 520 already does? 2. How will competing against the low-end 521 help WP app development? 3. Nokia has already angered their dev community by abruptly leaving Symbian. Now the appearance is that they're experimenting outside of WP. 4. Selling more Nokia X's will reduce WP's global market share as it will bight into 520 sales. With the 520 making up 35% of the world's WP market share, overall WP market share will suffer. 5. Are they abandoning Asha after just a few phones? Again, more angered devs. 6. Any development of Nokia X apps will come at the expense of developing more Nokia WP apps. The key gripe about WP is lack of apps. Why should Nokia start developing for a new platform when WP lacks apps? 7. This addition of Android undermines the belief that Nokia will support WP for the long haul. Nokia can't afford to let consumers think that WP is a failed project. 8. Poor device performance will detract from the Nokia brand overall.  The amazing thing about the 520 is that the inexpensive phone is wonderfully fast; it actually builds brand value, despite its low cost. 9. The Nokia X project could suck large resources that Nokia could put toward Lumia device and app development. I could understand if Nokia introduced a flagship Android phone and droped WP -- introduce an Android 920 or 1020 to try to find profits in Android the way that Sony has. I suspect Nokia could out-compete Samsung and Sony based on their build quality and camera technology. (That's not to say that I want them to abandon WP... just making a point). Of course, that woudl be tantamount to MS giving up on WP, too, which isn't likely. I'm looking forward to 8.1 and the potential 1820 myself. I hope this Nokia X dies a quick death and doesn't prove to be too much of a resource-hogging distraction for Nokia.
  •    
  • As a Windows Phone developer, what message should I get from this?
  • So that's why WP may support android apps in the future. Not to fill an app gap but to make the transition seamless. Cool.
  • I was so ready to hate on Nokia for this, but with this idea... I find it hard.  I can actually see this idea work out in the long run.  Nokia is one of the few companies in the world with enough pull to actually... errr... pull this off.  The other being Samsung... assuming that Tizen doesn't totally flop.  It would certainly answer the question of the Asha brand.  Too bad the styling doesn't appear to have carried over. 
  • So... I've Been pondering this move by Nokia and, by extension, MS. Here's my take: Normandy = storming the enemy's beaches WP8.1 will be able to run on cheaper Android hardware I.e. on Nokia 'X' hardware What's to stop the option being given to 'X' users to "upgrade" to WP8.1 immediately after it is released? 'X' users will already have a MS account for the MS services on the 'X' and they'll be used to the tile interface, so the transition should be very easy. If that's not the plan, then I'm just as confused as the rest of you.
  • Nokia is not undermining Google. It is testing water. And if the sales of Noka X series is really good, it will then have higher specs models. And who knows, perhaps pure view will be available on X series too? Never say never. We had been saying that Nokia will NEVER have a way with Android, but it has happened.
  • its anoying that this crap gets to have BBM before windows phone
  • Try to spin it in a positive light, I'm still not seeing it, and I think it's plenty stupid, and definite proof that Nokia lost faith in WP. First of all, if Windows Phone needs a "transitional low budget OS" to get users of other smartphone OSs to get onboard, it already failed. All this effort and money should be put into convincing WP is a mature OS that's good enough for people to consider. I bet that if WP had an updated working clean version of Facebook with all the latest stuff plus a working and functional live tile, it'd do far more than a transitional device with a sorry excuse of forked Android masked as another OS. In fact, Windows Phone should be churning out customized exclusive updated versions of all major apps right now. That's all that it'd take. Shure, Facebook Beta is better than Facebook. Shure, these things does not depend on Microsoft or Nokia alone. Shure, it could get there someday. But these are problems to be solved by any means, or it's just not worth it. I'm telling you, if the apps on the platform don't get updated quickly and if they don't start offering something new soon, people who got into WP out of faith will start jumping ship this and the next year. And the platform will end up dead. The latest batch of Android phones invested heavily in build quality and photography specs, and those were the major points of the Nokia Lumia line. Google took notice of the need for a jump in the photography part (they are investing quite a lot on software), and Sony is playing catch up with their new line too (plus they have very notable cameras on the market already). Second, if Nokia makes a low budget phone that's using Android as basis to make it look like WP, and it works poorly, chances are people will be abandoning both on their next purchase. So if anyone buys a Nokia X and thinks it's crap, more chances they are going to go for an iPhone next than a WP phone. Worse yet, they could just go for another cheap Android phone that doesn't lock them into Nokia Store and whatnot. Android users will be pretty quick to point out that they could have a different experience by using a native Android phone instead of one with a forked version of Android - and that would be true. And then, if it works fine, they could just "upgrade" it to a high end Android phone. The new Sony Xperia Z2 and Samsung Galaxy S5 might benefit better from it than any Nokia WP phone. All the WP apps there are available on Android anyways, so why bother jumping into another OS? Oh, perhaps you are thinking about those people who hates and boycotts all things Google... let me tell you that they are very few and far between considering the entire market (and no, I'm not talking about WPCentral commenters alone). Third, most people will see it as Nokia giving up on WP. Doesn't matter if WPCentral tries to spin it in a positive light with "What a twist!" strategy, doesn't matter how they talked about it on the keynote and whatnot, it's still forked Android, by Google, running on a Nokia phone. People who will read posts like this one and who watched the keynote are very very few. I'm talking of course of the entire market for smartphones. If it's not something evident and clear from start, it doesn't matter for the average costumer. That said, I'm still good with my Lumia 1020. But this Nokia X, plus discussions of "WP inside Android" and several other things that has been happening with the line, while still having to manage to live with several crippled/outdated apps and other problems, and the apparent impossibility of Microsoft convincing devs and other corporations to get seriously into the platform... well, it certainly has started to make me take a look on the S5 and Z2 launches and specs. I'm not jumping ship right away, but not shure about it closer to the end of this year. It's quite possible that my next phone will be Android.
  • Hey. Im frm India. Nd as said, Nokia does have a loyal fanbase here, people who will stick with it no matter what. And if nokia gives and android phone. Thats a win win situation. People here go more for brand recognition than actual comparing