Hypocritical or strategic? Nokia slams cheap Androids and then makes some

Hypocritical or strategic? Nokia slams cheap Androids and then makes some

Summary: Nokia did a good job of convincing me and others that low cost Windows Phones are much better than low cost Android devices. Now they are launching their own cheap Android phone hoping people will switch to Windows Phone later.

Hypocritical or strategic? Nokia slams cheap Androids and then makes some
(Image: Nokia)

Nokia had me convinced that Windows Phone was the best option for low cost smartphones while cheap Android phones lacked in many areas. As ZDNet's Jo Best wrote, Nokia announced their own Android X line today at MWC. Is this Android play strategic or is Nokia admitting that their low cost Lumia plan has failed?

Nokia has been promoting their low cost Lumia devices for months and sales reports indicate that their 500 series is selling quite well around the world. Nokia convinced me that nothing in the Android space below $200 could compete with what the Nokia Lumia Windows Phone devices offered. What has changed over the last few months then to cause Nokia to make their own low cost Android smartphone?

Jo reported that Stephen Elop stated that these new Nokia X devices are being released as a gateway to future Windows Phone sales. That seems like pure marketing speak and wishful thinking to me. When you already have very low cost Lumia devices that have Nokia and Microsoft services with an excellent user experience why do you need to start with Android and then try to convert people over? I don't see much success in this conversion, even if these X devices are running an AOSP version of Android rather than one that supports Google services.

I haven't yet read any compelling reason why Nokia isn't just promoting their low cost Lumia line that seems a much more natural way to progress to their mid-range and high end Lumia devices. Is Nokia using the X line to test Android adoption? If so, this also doesn't seem to be a long term strategy given that Microsoft takes over the Nokia hardware line soon. Then again, maybe Microsoft is also looking to see if they end up being more successful with Microsoft services on iOS and Android than they are with their own Windows Phone line.

Related reading

Topics: Mobility, Android, MWC, Nokia, Smartphones, Windows Phone

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  • Clearly ...

    Nokia spent a long time drinking the Microsoft kool-aid.
    No-one else drank it, so now they've tucked their tail between their legs and doing (pretty much) what people want.
    The pity is, I suspect this will stop dead the moment the acquisition goes through :-/
  • 3 Years ago, Nokia should have kept two fronts

    Windows Phone and Android or Meego (while transitioning Symbian users to whichever one fit their needs, personality, etc...). Their customers should have decided the winner.
    • Financial Aid

      Nokia didn't have the option. The company simply wouldn't exist right now without Microsoft's cash injections, and the cost to develop for 3 platforms (competitively) would be an even bigger anchor around the neck.
      • google offered nokia boatloads of cash too

        but nokia didn't want to jump in the android pool with 30 other companies do the same thing.
  • No hypocrisy in business

    In business you do whatever you can to increase revenue. Compared to the hucksterism and hypocrisy of the phone carriers Nokia selling an android phone is positively quaint.
    • Microsoft is a 'device and service' company

      How is this any different than Google making a browser for Windows? They do that to provide an entry point to their services (making you a product for advertisers).

      Now Microsoft/Nokia is taking the logical step to grab a share of the Android market. This extends the Microsoft services (Bing/Xbox/OneDrive/etc) and sells hardware.

      If it's a bold move, it's because it humbles the giant....but it's really common sense.

      The difficult part will be selling these devices while not marginalizing (or completely compromising) Windows Phone. That will be even more complicated if they allow WP to run Android apps (I'd make the assumption that these Nokia AOSP devices are a path to that......these AOSP/Windroid apps will probably run in WP too).

      The hidden bonus here for Microsoft is that it could highlight one of their great strengths -- dev tools. If you can build Android/WP/Win apps all in Visual Studio, then that could actually be a game changer. You could very well have a situation where Microsoft's flavor of Android is a popular lead platform for all Android apps.
      • PS

        Microsoft should buy or invest heavily in Xamarin.
    • Not Quite

      You do whatever you can to increase profits.

      Far too many businesses in this industry are looking towards market share and revenue, both are poor metrics for performance.

      At the end of the day, every business exists to make a profit, not to increase revenue or market share or some other second tier statistic.
  • I'm left wondering...

    Hypocritical or hypercritical? Seems like they're being overly-critical if they poo-poo'd the idea and are now making the devices.
    • Not only did they poo-poo'd the idea

      They killed the project developing a competitor to Android.

      Now they are attempting to get on the bandwagon.

      Of course, now they have gotten rid of Elop...
  • Having A Mobile Business That Only Sells Windows Phones...

    Is like opening a shop that only sells donut holes!

    Good luck with that.

    Windows Phone sucks Watermlons through a garden hose!

    Why is anyone surprised?

    Windows Phone 7x sucked, and my old Windows Mobile phone was orders of magnitude worse.

    Anyone who would carry around a Windows phone today is either naive, from another planet, or a begrudging MS employee who is envious of everyone with any phone other than theirs.
    • Sorry but...

      ...I had an iPhone 4 and grew really tired of it... I recently was using a friend's iPhone 5s, and I found it unusable. I have used a Windows Phone for the last year and half and I will certainly not be going back to an iPhone. I have never owned an Android phone, but the time that I did try one I found it not user friendly. So, what ever your problem is, keep it to your self. You clearly lack the appropriate level of knowledge to intelligently comment on the Windows Phone platform.
    • Naive?

      Since I'm not from another planet, and not an MS employee, all you can label me as is naive. Is it naive to have experienced android and come away wanting stability, experienced iOS and come away wanting a different interface experience, finding Windows Phone meeting my needs best without regrets? Is it naive to think that what works for me may not be the best for another?

      I'd say it's more naive to be so intransigent that you believe your personal solutions should be the one that all others should follow, that anyone else's perspective should be ridiculed, and to take time to be so zealous over a piece of technology.
      achilles heal
    • the google troll is back

      you should try to say something smart for once and maybe people wont laugh at you.
  • Still Want Nokia

    Just hope Nokia lives on ...