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« Lets Talk Handset Features - My Hypothesis is that Screen Size Trumps Everything | Main | MWC Related News Day 1 - Samsung Galaxy S5 and other news and non-news »

February 24, 2014



Tomi, it sounded so strange when Elop spoke "based on AOSP"... I was both happy (for the Nokia Android), and mighty pissed at Elop (It took the d##khead 3 years to figure out which platform was really burning).
I personally feel the Nokia XL would be pretty good value, and would sell well in all emerging markets (fingers-crossed for XL launch before MS closes the acquisition). XL would certainly wipe out all the Lumia 520, 525, & 620's from market.


Tommy I think you're overestimating these new phones.
They all use dirt-low specs everywhere (low-res screen, low performing cpu/gpu, less than 1GB RAM, terrible fixed-focus cameras with 3MP..). They're not aiming for flagship competition or worldwide attentiom.

The X line is just the replacement for the asha line, witch no one wants nowadays because of the excellent chinese androids that have flooded the market. Instead of launching yet another asha that would probable go unnoticed, they launch these low-ends with Android because it's free to use. There's not even any google app or access to the Play Store, so zero royalties to Google and zero mention to Google in the device itself.

Microsoft doesn't have much to loose with this. They don't want to sell Windows Phone for 100€ devices, so either these had S40 or a forked "Google-less" android would be the same to them.

Jagjit Dusanjh

Looked at a review of the Xs. Look like Meego really...


As others have said, Nokia and Android is a good combination in any market, especially those starting the transition to smartphones. Therefore I presume that Microsoft are now pursuing a different strategy in order to get people into their Microsoft Services ecosystem.

If they're not, then hopefully the new Android phones will be sold by the part of Nokia that is not being sold to Microsoft. Could that company simply sell phones branded as Nokia X? I'm sure they'll have no trouble manufacturing them (Foxconn) and I'm sure they could tempt the Microsoft transferees they want back quite easily.

Can't quite work out why Elop would allow this launch if it's not sanctioned by Microsoft, unless a) he has no real control at Nokia anymore, or b) he's mega p*ssed off he didn't get the top job.


ToTTen: today Microsoft announced Windows Phone 8.1 and said that it supports devices with 512 mb of ram, 4 gb on board storage, snapdragon 200. These are low specs like those of the Nokia X: if Nokia deliberately chose Android instead of Windows Phone 8.1 it means that Nokia has lost faith in the Windows Phone strategy.


I said it as a comment in your earlier article, and I repeat it here: this X-series is intended as a replacement for S40, not as a competition to WP.

The fact that it is a customized version of Android based on AOSP means many of existing apps and most of future official Android apps will not run on it. Google is progressively migrating all API and functionality towards its own commercial, closed software package, and Nokia/Microsoft will have serious difficulty reverse-engineering an emulation layer for it. Rather, Nokia and Microsoft are providing Skydrive instead of Google Cloud, Nokia HERE instead of Google maps, Microsoft Bing instead of Google Search, etc.

It is a typically shrewd Microsoftian move. Take the open source part of the most successful platform, inoculate it with Microsoft services and apps, launch it to conquer specifically the low-end where Nokia is still a king, therefore disseminating and fostering the adoption of basic Microsoft services. Shrewd -- but whether it will be really successful is another question.

It also means that WP is not dead yet. And truly: one should never state something "is dead" until it really is. Even WebOS still gives some gasps of life nowadays.


now we wait for astroturfers to say that actually this is a sign of wp strenght.

Mao Nixon

I think Elop on stages of Nokia X is like a damage control that he can help microsoft. He clearly state that Lumia is the high end, and nokia X is just some JUNK (my word, based on his word that it's a low end).

Other than that, if Nokia X turn to be a success, it would be funny to watch Microsoft forking the AOSP android project and closing the WP OS.

It would also be interesting to see if developer will be more willing to support Nokia Android compared to WP.


Mao Nixon
well, i think that first custom development for nokia android would be custom roms without any sign of microsoft apps and extracting nokia maps .apk for other android devices. other than that, any "custom" develompent for nokia actually means development for whole android ecosystem.

it's so sad to see now android on nokia. that should have happened 3 years ago, maybe then nokia would still live...
but i must say, if you look closely, nokia xl is, by specs, almost the same phone like samsungs s3 mini, but half the price. this is something to keep an eye on, price is more than affordable.

Wayne Borean

Now, the big question is "How many phones will sell before the merger, and will it be an improvement?"

1) Zero phones
2) Half of Asha sales
3) Same as Asha sales
4) Double Asha sales
5) OMG it's a hit!

If the answer is 5), I wonder if it could derail the merger?



Have the BBC got it wrong?

"More than 1.1 million devices running Android are expected to ship this year compared with 360,000 using the Windows operating system, according to data from research analysts Gartner."

Surely it should be 1.1 Billion?



> XL would certainly wipe out all the Lumia 520, 525, & 620's from market.

That's the biggest treat to Windows Phone yet, since the majority of the sales come from these devices.


What Does It Mean that Nokia Launches 3 Smartphones on Android, Now?

1 - HTC might go bankrupt under intense competition.
2 - Blackberry will cease to exist
3 - Sammy will loose market share to Nokia
4 - Apple is doomed
5 - Microsoft market share won't grow anymore.


Some interesting analysis:

> X=Crossover
> The reason that Nokia’s Android smartphone is called “X” because it is a crossover of Android apps,
> Nokia product design and the Microsoft cloud.

> Instead of Google services like Gmail, Calendar, Drive and Maps, Nokia has replaced all of the core
> Google mobile apps with the likes of HERE Maps, its own calendar, Outlook, Skype and OneDrive. In
> certain markets, Microsoft is offering a month of free calls to landlines through Skype and 10 Gb of
> data in OneDrive. Essentially, Nokia has released a phone that can download just about any Android
> app but ties directly to Microsoft’s cloud and core functionality.

Perhaps that's part of the plan: after all, Microsoft wants to become a "devices and services" company.

Tomi T Ahonen

Mike - the BBC has the decimal points all wrong. Android sells 79% currently. Thus Android number should be 1.1 Billion for 2014. Windows Phone sells 3.5% currently so it should be selling about 47 million if it manages to hold market share (in reality it can't, the share will decline in 2014 as the turmoil of transition causes the retail channel to play it safe and the Nokia/Lumia brand will have a sub-par year).

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Mao Nixon


Before we hit another statistic...
Will you put Nokia X sales number under non-smartphone or smartphone?


Satya Nutela

My Guesstimate about microsoft action toward this elop/nokia Plan-B situation

If Nokia X eat other android market share (Samsung, LG, etc) and prevent the loosing of Asha market share... it's a green light.

If Nokia X eat other android market share, but Asha line up still loosing market share... need Plan C (real android?? LOL)

If Nokia X eat Lumia market share, and not other android market share, ABORT!!! ABORT!!!


@Mao Nixon

"non-smartphone or smartphone?"

This distinction does not make any sense -- if it ever did -- and neither do those other terms that are periodically thrown into the discussion without any tightly worded definition ("superphone", "phablet").

What counts is a classification by low-end, mid-range, high-end (or price ranges). Or by platform (Android, iOS, WP, etc).


"a BILLION non-paying consumers"

But these consumers _are_ paying -- except in amounts you consider contemptible, and not for the services you are thinking about (once more: look at mobile banking in Africa).

It is hard to leave one's affluent-Western-centric view of the mobile world, but there are plenty of opportunities out there that do not look like what has been epitomized by Apple.

Sander van der Wal

Hehehe. Microsoft has pulled one on Google.

Google will have to keep working on Androids lower levels, Microsoft was already making money on the patents, and now Microsoft will replace the high end Googly bits with the money-making stuff that is on WP too.

Essentially, Microsoft is still reaping the benefits of owning a closed source OS, but with somebody else paying for the stuff OEM's won't buy from Microsoft anymore.

If Ballmer planned this, he's brilliant. If he planted Elop in Nokia to make this work, he's out of this world.



"Will the freemium model or the advertising model work for the next billion?"

Advertising is very country-specific. There is plenty of advertising going on in developing countries -- but advertising models built for the USA cannot be transplanted as such in Uganda or Paraguay -- or in the Netherlands for that matter.

"What value will the Facebooks of the world be able to extract from advertising to the Ugandan farmer?"

The real question is what value can the Ugandan farmer extract from Facebook? If none, then forget about the Facebook model and look at what is happening in Uganda in the mobile/Internet/economic space right now to figure out where to go.

Facebook, twitter, Skype, One drive,, Whatsapp: Amongst these services, to my knowledge only Facebook is truly profitable. The online division of MS is losing money, Whatsapp and twitter profitability is either dubious or quite low. Hence, these are not good examples to question the profitability of services in the 3rd world, since they are not good examples of soundly profitable businesses in the 1st world to begin with.

"Where will the income come to support this?"

Nokia/Microsoft has to figure it out. Regarding mapping services, I would presume developing something to use them in conjunction with bush-taxis/matatas (a kind of mix between Uber, TaxiMagic, Nokia Public Transport, Nokia HERE) could be a way to go. Yes, this requires investment and development, but that should be no surprise.

Now, Tomi had been looking at various business models for services, advertising and mobile applications in Asia and Africa, and I wish he could report on the latest developments. This will be probably give some leads to answer your questions.

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