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

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.

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