Nokia finally wakes up! Android now on Nokia phones
In a tech story that reads a little bit like a suspense thriller, Nokia released the Nokia X and Nokia X+ on 24 February 2014. For years there was speculation in the market that Nokia was experimenting with introducing Android to its hardware in spite of Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s mobile device business. The story includes episodes of leaked photos of Nokia’s new handsets (more than just once in the past), rumours that the Nokia X would never see the light of day, as well as the saga of whether or not Microsoft would push for Nokia to continue to produce Windows phones or whether it would “allow” Nokia to release an Android phone.
Nokia has been the market leader in the distribution of cheap, reliable cell phone handsets. In the early days of mobile phones, it advanced mobile technology and reliability in a mass move that saw a huge chunk of the global market owning (or having owned) a Nokia phone at some point in their lives. When smartphones began to take over the market, fewer and fewer once-loyal Nokia customers were satisfied with feature phones and shifted over to iPhone or Android phones.
In 2008, Nokia launched their first full-touch smartphone, the 5800 XpressMusic, which was powered by Symbian. It was developed to compete with Apple’s iPhone 3G, but no such luck. Even after the moderately successful N97, Nokia needed to find a partnership that would restore the popularity it once enjoyed. In 2011, Nokia strategically partnered with Windows and the N9 was born.
Was Windows a smart idea?
Between 2011 and 2013, Nokia took a giant knock and was made unpopular by its inability to stay competitive against Apple and Galaxy. However, with the release of the Nokia Lumia 520 and 720 in early 2013, Nokia has begun to slowly climb back up the popularity ladder. It was in 2012 already that Nokia’s chairperson announced that the hardware giant did have a back-up plan if the alliance with Windows didn’t work out.
The Nokia X and X+
That back-up plan included the Android-powered Nokia X and X+. Nokia was apparently frustrated by Windows’ inability to develop a Windows smartphone to cater to the needs of the lower price points. You’ll remember that this market segment is what made Nokia hugely popular to begin with. Nokia’s X and X+ speak to that market, as Android has given them back the ability to produce cheap low-end and mid-range handsets. This will be a good move for Nokia because the high-end market is saturated with choice from iPhone, Samsung, HTC, LG, Lenovo, and Huawei.
The Nokia X range runs a modified or forked version of Android, which makes it customisable.