MWC: Nokia X smartphones really are Android devices

But they’re loaded with Microsoft’s not Google services

nokia x range is aosp based

Effectively what Nokia has done is an Amazon Kindle. Which is to take the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code and build its own front end upon it. Technically known as ‘forking’, we believe. Rather than take the full official version of Android (and presumably paying Google for the privilege), this means that Nokia can tie users of the new Nokia X range (codenamed Normandy) into its full range of services. Crucially this means that Nokia X users will be taken to the Nokia Store and CloudDrive rather than the Google equivalents (ie Google Play). But it also means that Nokia X handsets will be fully integrated with other Microsoft owned services – particularly Skype as well as HERE Maps from Nokia. Oh, and there’s Nokia Mix Radio in the X range as well.

It’s clear that Nokia has done its very best to get the three new models to appeal to emerging markets. They’re even dual SIM models.

Plus there’s the pricing. The Nokia X should retail at €89/$122; the Nokia X+ @ €99/$136; whilst XL will cost €109/$150.

What’s more, the entry level X model will become available immediately in certain markets which GoMo News believes includes India.

Nokia fanbois might want to hold back for the X+ version because it actually has a microSD slot, so that users can add extra storage. The appeal of the XL model went over GoMo News‘ head.

Now that Nokia is effectively a US giant (owned by Microsoft) it was no surprise that it has tied in heavily with a fellow US giant – gaming experts EA (Electronic Arts).

So Nokia X owners will find Android based games from EA in the Nokia Store.

We know that there is an Android SDK available for the X range from Nokia to enable developers to craft their products for the new range.

What we don’t know is how much work will be involving in ‘porting’ existing Android apps over to the AOSP equivalents. It can’t be too hard, incidentally.

Significantly, Nokia admitted that in regions where the Nokia Store isn’t so well established it has tied up with local app stores – and this applies to Russia.

One huge advantage which the Nokia Store deos enjoy, however, is its compatibility with unbanked users. Including support for Direct operator Billing in many countries.

“Lumia continues to be our primary handset family,” Nokia Stephen tried to insist. Even though the company has performed the biggest U-turn in the cellular industry’s history.

What next? Revive support for Symbian?

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
This article was published in App stores, Mobile Devices, android, direct operator billing, nokia, symbian and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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