Targeted at fast growing low-cost smartphone markets like India, Nokia launched the much anticipated Android-based smartphones starting at euro 89 (about Rs 7,600).
The company introduced three smartphones, based on a modified version of the Android, called Android open source project (AOSP), for the X series.
“The X range of phones is targeted at the growth markets where low-cost smartphones are growing at over four times,” Nokia’s Devices and Services Executive Vice President Stephen Elop told reporters here.
Nokia’s X range of smartphones run Android applications, Microsoft services and signature Nokia experiences like Here maps.
The X model will be available immediately for euro 89 excluding taxes.
The other two models – X+ and XL – will be available in early second quarter for euro 99 and euro 109 respectively, Elop added.
Nokia X comes with a 4-inch screen and 3MP camera whereas XL has a 5-inch screen and 5 MP camera.
It is for the first time that Nokia has come out with a phone which has Android-based applications.
This is a move by the company in order to get a pie of the Android phone market.
As per the IDC figures of the last quarter of 2013, Android had a 78.1 per cent share of global smartphone shipments while the Microsoft Windows Phone platform share stood at 3 per cent.
The release of the phones comes just days ahead of its scheduled takeover by Microsoft. The software giant had acquired the handset business of Nokia for $7.2 billion last year.
Elop said the X range of phones will become a feeder system for its Lumia range.
Apart from the X range of phones, Nokia also introduced one Internet enabled entry level phone for euro 29 and a Asha range of phone for euro 45, which will be available in the market immediately.
“Nokia has connected billions of people around the world, and today we demonstrated how our portfolio is designed to connect the next billion people to great experiences,” Elop added.
Elop said the company now has phones in four levels, which include the entry-level phones like Nokia 220, the Asha series, the X range of phones and the Lumia series.
“Priced at just euro 45, the Nokia Asha 230 is the most affordable Asha touch device ever. Available in single and Dual SIM variants, it will start rolling out immediately across Asia-Pacific, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa,” he added.
That apart, the induction of Android based phones will bring the famous BlackBerry Messenger chat application for Nokia X range users.
BBM, which is already available for Android and Apple iOS users, will soon be available for Lumia phones as Nokia Handy, built on Windows operating system as well.
“We are thrilled to work with Nokia to preload BBM on devices beginning with Nokia X in select markets. We welcome Nokia X users to the BBM community,” BlackBerry Senior Director for BBM, David Proulx said.