Nokia has now officially announced three new Android phones under their Nokia X line. This will be a departure from their previously Microsoft heavy operating systems. The move is particularly stunning because Microsoft is in the middle of a $7.2 billion deal to buy Nokia’s phone and tablet business.
When Microsoft heard about Nokia’s Android phone, an insider with the company called the move “embarrassing.” On Nokia’s Android ambitions, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Windows stated, “They’ll do some things we’re excited about, and some things we’re less excited about.”
These new Nokia/Android phones are different than traditionally Android phones. They do not have any Google services (like maps, mail, etc.) and they run on extremely modified software. They use Microsoft services and will have a separate app store for Android apps. Nokia’s former CEO is hoping that these Nokia X phones will serve as a gateway for consumers to upgrade to Microsoft phones in the long run. They are currently targeting the emerging markets with these phone options. The problem with this logic is that Nokia already makes an affordable Microsoft phone for less than $100, the Nokia Lumina.
It stands to be seen if Microsoft will keep these Nokia X phones around once they are in possession of the company.