Priced at $122 excluding carrier subsidies and taxes, the smartphone hits an attractive pricing level in places such as India, Indonesia and Russia, and fills a hole in Nokia’s product portfolio.
Nokia also released two other Android-powered devices, the Nokia X+, priced at €99, and the XL, with a larger screen, at €109.
Amid the rise in popularity of the Android operating system, thousands of developers are making third-party software for the platform. The main benefit of the Nokia X range is that they are able to run these apps, said Timo Toikkanen, the head of Nokia’s mobile phones unit.
“Access to local [Android] apps is hugely important for our customers,” he said. “We want to offer choice and access to the world of those apps.”
The phone also comes weeks ahead of the expected closure of Microsoft’s $7 billion takeover of Nokia’s phone business.
With Windows Phone sales off to a shaky start, Nokia’s board of directors initiated a review of its collaboration with Microsoft and began weighing its options in the summer of 2012. Engineers at Nokia had been working on the Android phone strategy long before Microsoft struck its deal to buy Nokia’s handset business last September.
In an update on its official blog on Monday, Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft’s head of communications, wrote that Microsoft is “pleased” to see Microsoft services introduced on Nokia’s new Android devices. He added however, that Microsoft and Nokia are still operating as “independent companies” until the deal closes, and that Microsoft remains committed to its Windows Phone strategy.
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