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Fight fire with fire: Nokia uses Android against Google, Microsoft opens the gates

Fight fire with fire: Nokia uses Android against Google, Microsoft opens the gates
With the announcement of the Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL, Nokia and Microsoft have just turned the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) on its ear. Yes, on its ear. This is the kitchen sink being thrown at Google and it will feel the pinch. Microsoft also loosened the reigns just a bit on Windows Phone when it announced a slew of new manufacturers joining the gang.

In Microsoft’s case, it will basically allow manufacturers to use existing architecture and hardware design in the Windows Phone dynamic. That means the dedicated camera button is not going to be mandatory. Windows Phone 8.1 and its on-screen buttons further the “openness” of sorts. The trade-off is that Windows Phone arguably loses a bit of differentiation in the hardware, but gains attractiveness for manufacturers like Lenovo, based in China, and LG, a company with an ever growing and impressive war chest of ideas and talent.  Certainly Foxconn, who builds anything for anybody, will capitalize on this opportunity.

For Nokia, this is not a case of, “if you can’t beat them, join them” when it comes to these forked Android devices. This is all about Microsoft, Microsoft, Microsoft. Yeah, the Nokia X, et al, are built on AOSP, but that was merely a formality for Stephen Elop as he made his presentation. It was all about Skype, OneDrive, Outlook, Nokia Mix Radio, Skype, Outlook, OneDrive, “popular Microsoft services”…did I mention he talked about Skype and OneDrive? Google? Who’s that? Elop said it himself at the Nokia event at MWC, “…the next billion people to Microsoft.” Does anyone have any doubt that Microsoft does not have the stones or money to pull this off?

The new Nokia X family of devices are certainly not the absolute cheapest to hit the market, but they will get the job done. In an interview with Re/code, Mr. Elop specifically mentioned markets like Indonesia (a weakening BlackBerry stronghold), Vietnam and Russia as “growth” markets. At under €100 to get started (and that price curve will most definitely drop, look at the Nokia Lumia 520), Nokia forked Android, splashed Microsoft services throughout and rubbed it in Google’s eye. The Nokia X is a great way to grow people into Windows without the total change in user experience.

Starting at €89 for the Nokia X and topping out at €109 for the Nokia XL this new line of phones will succeed in their intended

Starting at €89 for the Nokia X and topping out at €109 for the Nokia XL this new line of phones will succeed in their intended "growth" markets

Now I will admit that it is too soon to see if this strategy will pay off, but I am betting it will. When you couple Nokia’s new front with Microsoft’s new OEM partners for Windows Phone, and the huge cut in licensing fees (70%) for Windows 8.1 on lower cost computers, that equals three big barrels taking aim at Google.

Moreover, Microsoft has momentum on its side since //Build/ is coming in April, more than two months ahead of Google I/O.  That is not to say Google is going to take any of this lying down, it’s just I cannot help but wonder if Google is not quietly wondering if it should have held on to Motorola so it could peddle an even more affordable Moto G-type device and have more direct control over its vision.

Instead, the market will soon see Android devices running a host of apps and services that are outstanding in their own right (HERE Maps, OneDrive, Skype, etc.), look a lot like Windows Phone, which looks a lot like that inexpensive laptop or tablet, which looks a lot like that computer at work. This serves Microsoft’s mantra of “one place for everything in your life.”  Android delivers an experience like that only in its dreams.

The growth and adoption rate of Android around the world is nothing short of stunning, there is no denying that success. Even with best sellers like the Lumia 520, Nokia took the fearless step to make its tent big enough for just about everyone. The Nokia X gives people more choices for their given device and it fights Google at its own game. When you consider that just about any Android app can be side-loaded on to an X, and it is a Nokia (brand loyalty), this adds an interesting ingredient to the mix. That mix is the “next billion people.”

73 Comments
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posted on 25 Feb 2014, 02:30 16

1. tech2 (Posts: 3475; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)


Thanks, Nokia. Now we can get Microdcked and Scroogled at the same time. ;)

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 02:52

8. fireblade (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)


LMAO hahahaha

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 02:58

11. LiyanaBG (Posts: 381; Member since: 07 Nov 2013)


well said PhoneArena!

now google has to open its eyes

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 03:21 1

20. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Criminal thinking of microsoft... now who is going to do the same to microsoft?

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 09:09 1

47. Kyokado (Posts: 115; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


Microsoft open the gates. Like bill gates kinda gates?

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 23:42

63. Q-ART (Posts: 4; Member since: 09 Aug 2013)


yeah....Gates,Windows,Drives of an officce. this is all about a room, what the hell are they?

posted on 26 Feb 2014, 02:11

64. Kyokado (Posts: 115; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


A house. Thats worth alot. Apple is the just another fruit they put in the basket on top of their dining table as decor. Android is their robo dog

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 09:28

48. grapeseed87 (Posts: 123; Member since: 13 Mar 2013)


They can't. Since to do that they will have to enter WP arena. Not to mention the piles of cash MS makes off of Google, etc.

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 07:22

40. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Ironic how this is happening on the eve of MS acquisition of Nokia's devices and services division. I wonder why Eflop didn't do this earlier? This guy really is Benedict Arnold of the mobile market.

posted on 27 Feb 2014, 09:44

66. sgodsell (Posts: 3890; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)


Oh please like Microsoft didn't know about Nokia X coming down the pipes. Especially all this time they signed an exclusive contract to only pump out WP devices. Not to mention that Microsoft was paying Nokia 250 million per quarter. So Microsoft knew what was happening all along. Even before Nokia released the 3 Nokia X android forked versions, it was expected that Android was going to sell around a billion smartphones for just 2014. So clearly Microsoft is riding on the coattails of Android in order to generate numbers and revenue. Clearly Microsoft's WP could never do that task. The sales and adoption rate told Microsoft and the world that WP was never up for the job.

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 02:36

2. mmmanuuu (Posts: 401; Member since: 05 Nov 2013)


If you cant beat them, blame them.

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 02:48

5. HansGoneInsane (unregistered)


Hope that means that Microsoft brings a full office App to Android Tablets and Phones in not too far future.

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 02:41

3. Jobayer (Posts: 167; Member since: 22 Feb 2013)


Will get you burned XD

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 02:45 2

4. mayur007 (Posts: 569; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)


If u cant beat them use there resources but dont use them

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 02:51 7

6. mr.techdude (Posts: 571; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


Hope Nokia closes down along side with flop in his grave. That's it I said it.

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 02:52 14

7. chocowii (Posts: 453; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)


Now give us Pureview X and take my money!

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 02:53 6

9. fireblade (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)


I want it too

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 03:09 3

13. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Hell yea.

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 03:33 2

22. Epicness1o1 (Posts: 276; Member since: 30 May 2013)


If they make it,I'll buy it and wont buy any phone in 5 other years

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 04:35 4

29. Liveitup (Posts: 1798; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


Not going to happen, highend is reserved for Lumias, Nokia X etc is made to lure Android users over to WP hence the similar experience and MS services.

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 06:35 2

38. chocowii (Posts: 453; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)


Its all about money now on Nokia. They listened to consumers that they wanted and Android Nokia then they made it happen with Nokia X. Its not too long before they made a Pureview X. The next CES is just around the corner. The technology belongs to Nokia, not with Microsoft.

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 02:54

10. taojj (Posts: 33; Member since: 01 Aug 2013)


Wow you have revealed a big secret. Phone Arena should change their name to Tube Light Arena.

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 02:58 5

12. androidrocks (Posts: 61; Member since: 14 Apr 2012)


Buy a Nokia X --> root it (i'm sure the guys at XDA would get their hands onto one) --> remove micro$oft "alternatives" --> install google apps (not sure about play store) --> Problem solved

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 03:10

14. kaikuheadhunterz (Posts: 1157; Member since: 18 Jul 2013)


Don't forgot to enable the on-screen buttons :)

Or if possible, use the capacitive button to launch PIE controls (just an idea)

posted on 27 Feb 2014, 09:53

67. sgodsell (Posts: 3890; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)


There is no way to know if this can be unlocked and rooted yet. Time will tell.

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 03:18 1

16. dratomic (Posts: 483; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


yeah about that there are some people out there who are annoyed by some of googles services. ie gmail is awsome but google plus is lame. google want to shove their services down customers throat and thats bad. i dont like microsofts approach either they want to force you to use their services. they should give user freedom to chose what they want. for example if i want email i use gmail. if i want social i use fb. btw if i was mandated to use anything i would have bought an iphone. but open source is what most people prefer.it means freedom.

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 03:41 1

25. uchihakurtz (Posts: 377; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


What if I told you that most custom ROMs provide minimal GApps packages and Google Plus isn't included. Also, Google Plus is a solid social network that some advanced users and developers like to use instead of FB.

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 04:19

27. chocowii (Posts: 453; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)


Its not that they want you to forcefully use those services. Remember WP and Android uses Microsoft and Google's, respectively, their own eco system. Therefore, in the name of apps. Google has plethora of apps that is counterpart of what Microsoft has. Plus, Google doesn't develop for WP. In MS side, you use Windows Live account which holds your OneDrive, Hotmail and People accounts in one place.

To make it short, these apps dont force you to use them. It is just there to make the OS experience better.

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 05:03

33. jromy (Posts: 114; Member since: 26 Feb 2013)


I don't think you quite understand the meaning of "forcing" someone to do something. Each ecosystem has different apps, the only solution to what you're saying is if every phone came with all possible email and social apps pre-loaded. And god knows what we need is more bloatware that we're never going to use.

posted on 25 Feb 2014, 06:31

37. chocowii (Posts: 453; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)


Only Android has bloats if, except Nexus and GP Editions.
WP and iOS has none on their phones. If it has on WP, its deletable.
The thing here is if you use more Google, better use an Android device. If your work evolves anything but on Office, go to WP. Everything elses, go to iOS?

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