Nokia on Monday announced that launch of the new Nokia X line of budget phones that use Google's Android operating system rather than the Windows Phone software from Microsoft, which is about to buy Nokia's phone business. The new Nokia X series of smartphones were unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The Nokia X is on sale immediately for 89 euros ($122). The Nokia X+ will cost 99 euros and the Nokia XL will cost 109 euros, with both going on sale in early March.
The Nokia X and X+ both have 4-inch screens, but the X+ offers an SD card. The XL has a 5-inch screen and a better 5-megapixel camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera.
The Nokia X line - Nokia X, Nokia X+ and the Nokia XL - will emphasise Microsoft Corporation services such as Bing search, Skype communications and OneDrive file storage. Its home screen sports larger, resizable tiles resembling those on Windows phone.
Nokia is targeting emerging markets with three low-cost smartphones
Nokia will ditch many of the Google services that come with Android, which Google lets phone makers customize at will.
''More and more people are buying smartphones for less that 100 euros,'' said Stephen Elop, Nokia executive vice president, as he presented the new phones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. ''That sub-100 range is a massive opportunity for us. According to analysts, it will grow four times as fast as rest of smartphone market.''
Elop said all three phones will be ''available broadly around the world, starting in growth markets.'' The aim is to make the Nokia X a bridge to high-end Windows smartphones under the Lumia brand.
They won't be available in the U.S., Canada, Korea and Japan in part to avoid competing with Lumia phones, which cost hundreds of dollars in the U.S. without subsidies from phone carriers.
Elop said that the use of Android on these phones in no way means Nokia is shifting away from its work with Windows and Microsoft, which is buying Nokia's phone business and patent rights in a 5.4 billion euro ($7.3 billion) deal expected to be completed next month.
Once the No. 1 maker of cellphones, Nokia has been struggling to keep up with the iPhone and devices running Android. Nokia's smartphone revenue fell 29 percent in the recent holiday quarter compared with a year earlier. And even as competition