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Nokia to use Android as Windows bait

Peter Wang

Finnish handset maker Nokia, in the process of being acquired by Microsoft, told Telecoms.com it intends to use its fresh line of Android handsets as a platform to entice users onto Windows-based smartphones.

This is the main reason why the Nokia X series sports a tiled user interface not dissimilar to the Metro UI found on Windows 8, according to Peter Wang, VP platform & technology delivery at Nokia.

Speaking to Telecoms.com in Barcelona last week, Wang said that Nokia’s device UI “is a big differentiator,” which is why the Android-based X devices look very similar to the Lumia range in terms of UI and also look very different to all other Android interfaces.

Wang was keen to point out that despite the adoption of the Android Open Source Platform, the company is not cosying up to Google and is sticking firmly with Microsoft.

“The decision to utilise the Android open source platform was based on the maturity of the technology,” he said. “You have a whole ecosystem, not just the software and apps but all the hardware and chipsets so you have more options and more mature chipsets,” he said.

“But we’re not using any Google services. We’re not using the Google cloud we’re using the Microsoft cloud and also Skype. For the users in the emerging markets we target, their first experience is with Microsoft services, so when they upgrade to a smartphone they will go to a Windows phone,” he added.

The Nokia X range will be targeted specifically at developing markets and Wang said Nokia was helping Microsoft to enter more emerging markets with the X phone, building on Nokia’s expertise in markets where applications are still primarily installed via sideloading.

The Nokia X, which is on sale immediately, is priced from €89 and will be available in Asia-Pacific, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. The Nokia X+ and Nokia XL, priced at €99 and €109 respectively, will be launched in the same markets next quarter. The handsets will also support Microsoft services such as Skype, OneDrive and outlook.com.

Wang suggested that Microsoft will also announce new Windows phones in April. But Nokia is staying well clear of a relationship with Google.

“Because the Android Open Source Project is open source, anyone can use and we are only using open source projects,” he said. “So we don’t need to contribute code to android.”


2 comments

  1. @martinkem 07/03/2014 @ 11:32 am

    Am i the only one this sounds silly to

  2. Olivier Rassemusse 07/03/2014 @ 3:26 pm

    So bad. How these guys have been able to kill Symbian, Meego, Serie40, loosing in the way a bunch of devoted developpers to come back with that.

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