Nokia launches its first line of Android phones

Despite its imminent purchase by Microsoft, Nokia has launched its first family of Android-run smartphones.
By Ananth Baliga  |  Feb. 24, 2014 at 3:30 PM
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BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Nokia launched its low-end Nokia X family of phones Monday that will run on Google's Android software and will look to this product to regain its market in developing markets.

The product will be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and will cost $122, excluding carrier subsidies and taxes. This attractive price range will help it in markets like India, Russia and Indonesia. Nokia launched two other products -- the Nokia X+, priced at $136, and the XL, with a larger screen, at $150.

"Now, with the introduction of the Nokia X family of devices, we're delivering the same design, quality and innovation Nokia is known to lower price points to capture the fastest-growing segment of the smartphone market," said Bryan Biniak, vice president and general manager of developer experience at Nokia.

The entry-level X model will have a 4-inch screen with 512MB Ram and a 3-megapixel camera, while the X+ will have a 768MB Ram and a 4GB MicroSD card. The XL will have a five inch screen, front-facing and rear cameras.

While the X model will be available immediately, the X+ and XL will be on shelves this April.

Nokia in 2011 decided to ditch the Android platform and placed its bet on Microsoft's push into smartphones. The announcement comes a few weeks ahead of an expected closure of Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's phone business for $7 billion. But according to the head of Nokia's mobile phones unit Timo Toikkanen, Microsoft has been kept in the loop about the Nokia's foray into Android-run phones.

"Obviously Microsoft knows what it's acquiring. You don't do a deal of this size without some due diligence," he said.

"Some things we're excited about, some things we're less excited about. Whatever they do, we're very supportive of them," said Joe Belfiore of Microsoft, in response to the announcement.

[WSJ] [BBC]

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