Updated Android-based Nokia X phones from Microsoft due next week?

It's looking increasingly likely that Microsoft plans to launch its second-generation Android-based Nokia X phones early next week.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

It's increasingly looking like the rumored second-generation Android-based Nokia X phones may be announced on June 24.


A June 20 teaser on the Microsoft-run Nokia Conversations blog, entitled "Green With Envy," points to some kind of launch happening four days away. As The Verge noted, Nokia used green ducks to teas the original Nokia X announcement.

Rumors dating back to early this year indicated that a second-generation of the Nokia X family was in development. Allegedly the new phones will offer larger displays, better rear-facing cameras and snappier performance. 

Nokia X phones run on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) version of Android. Specifically, the Nokia X platform includes the Linux kernel, the open source pieces of Android (Dalvik, general open-source Android libraries and the application framework), extensions that Nokia has made to that framework, and Nokia application programming interfaces (APIs) that Nokia built to replace Google Play store APIs.

Nokia built APIs for maps, push notifications and in-app billing that replace Google's comparable APIs. And Microsoft (and its Mobile/Nokia arm) developed versions of some of its key apps and services, including Skype, Outlook.com, OneDrive and Nokia Camera. Nokia X users can download more Android apps from the Nokia Store.

Microsoft officials are continuing to insist that offering Android-based phones is a way to attract a set of users to Microsoft's ecosystem, rather than a way to compete with its own Windows Phones.

A related aside: I've seem some speculating that Microsoft is planning some kind of a Windows Phone launch on or around June 24, which, presumably, would be for Windows Phone 8.1. This is not happening, according to my sources.

Microsoft released to manufacturing the Windows Phone 8.1 bits in early April and has updated them a few times since. Users who are willing to register as developers have been able to get the Windows Phone 8.1 bits on their Windows 8 handsets since April. The next milestone for Windows Phone will be when carriers begin pushing the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system and related firmware to users, which is expected to start happening "in the coming weeks."

Microsoft's updating of its lifecycle support page to indicate a June 24 "start date" for Windows Phone 8.1 didn't mean that this was an exact date as to when over-the-air updates would start going out. The dates as to when users will get the Windows Phone 8.1 bits pushed to them by carriers is controlled by the carriers, not Microsoft.

Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 is rumored to be coming later this summer/early fall. It is expected to include new 3D gesturing technology that will allow users to hover over tiles and apps to interact with them. I believe users will need new hardware in order to make use of this capability, however.

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