Yes, Nokia's X phones are Android-based, but will regular users know, or care?
As you’ve surely heard, Nokia unveiled a brand new family of smartphones built on AOSP at MWC 2014: the Nokia X, Nokia X+, and Nokia XL. Just like Amazon’s tablets, these handsets don’t promote Google services. Instead, customers are treated with lots of features and services developed by Nokia and Microsoft (HERE Maps, MixRadio, Skype, OneDrive and so on).
So we have three new Android-based handsets. Will regular users refer to them as Android phones? We’re not quite sure of that. If you take a look at the handsets’ official specifications over at Nokia’s website, you won’t find Android being mentioned there. Nope, not a single mention of Android. The Operating System of the new handsets is listed as the “Nokia X software platform.” Sure enough, the X phones are presented as being “your Fastlane to Android apps”, capable of letting you “discover the world of Android apps.” But, for example, BlackBerries can also run Android apps, and people still call them BlackBerries.
The X phones should allow Nokia - and also Microsoft, which will own Nokia’s handset division starting the end of this quarter - to fight the army of inexpensive Android handsets that flooded the global market in the last few years. As we said earlier this week, Nokia and Microsoft are fighting fire with fire with the help of this new series of devices.
The Nokia X, X+ and XL are all colorful, well-built, and have dual SIM capabilities. They can certainly offer more than an Asha phone. The last time Nokia revealed Asha sales numbers was in Q3 2013, when the company reported that it sold "5.9 million Asha full-touch smartphones" throughout the quarter. Will Nokia and Microsoft mange to sell millions of X (smart)phones, too? Well, we're afraid that we'll have to leave this question unanswered until later in 2014.
references: Nokia X, Nokia X+, Nokia XL
1. Johnnokia (Posts: 545; Member since: 27 May 2012)
Yes, Regular users do care so much.. Even my Grandma told me ''Have you see the beautiful new Nokia?, they said it gonna be very affordable''
Just watch the hype about it everywhere.
It is currently the second most popular phone after Galaxy S5 in GSMArena.
Imagine, what would happen if Nokia produces high end Android phone!
2. Florin.T (Posts: 124; Member since: 16 Dec 2013)
Um, the question was if they know or care if it's based on Android, not if they know or care about the phone in general.
4. Johnnokia (Posts: 545; Member since: 27 May 2012)
Even here in the USA, where Nokia is not that popular like in other countries of the world , in my university, a lot of people talking about the first Nokia Android.
Four of my friends want to buy Nokia XL from ebay once it realeases.
8. Tas09 (Posts: 7; Member since: 08 Jan 2014)
Johnnokia, you missed the whole point of this article pal. This article is NOT, and I repeat, it's NOT about the phone in general, rather it's OS and how it functions.
And as you said earlier that your 'grandma actually cares', yes, that is the whole point of this article. Regular users do care about the phone's design and it's capabilities, but NOT what's making it all work, in the inside.
5. alterecho (Posts: 1091; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)
If they know it forces Microsoft services on the user, they won't care.
16. sharks (Posts: 167; Member since: 16 Feb 2013)
Don't forget XDA's developers. They will "fix" Nokia's X line to be a proper Android device with custom ROMs.
18. Reality_Check (Posts: 277; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)
20. elitewolverine (Posts: 1938; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)
like how they are forced to use google? how every call i get on their slow droid, when they see the running process i get 'i dont want that...when did that happen...'. Freaking annoying as hell, not to mention the people that knee jerk at carriers cause all of a sudden google+ starts posting on their behalf.....
66. aldridhl (Posts: 55; Member since: 12 Feb 2011)
like google and apple don't peddle their own services on their OS's..
15. jael206 (Posts: 128; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)
Yes, they will care.. It's not like "regular" users are less knowledgeable users. They will buy the phone because they know its Android, because they want to experience Android on a Nokia phone. Please don't insult the regular users that much; give them credit. They are getting smarter, and they want an affordable smartphone from a brand that they trust.
19. elitewolverine (Posts: 1938; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)
I would say no they dont. Most people dont even know the word android. They have heard of it, but when you truly talk to them it is 'oh i dont know'.
I deal with this every day, every freaking day at work.
The people that care know about 4 os's, people that dont, know it as a phone, smartphone that is.
55. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3561; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
Wrong... The average user does not give a flying rats a$$... Just ask your girlfriend.
65. jael206 (Posts: 128; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)
Lol.. My girlfriend loves her Sony Xperia. Nice try bro
27. ScottSchneider (Posts: 322; Member since: 06 Dec 2011)
I have a Question... (Jus saying) If this phone sells in 10's of Millions, how will the market share be? Since it is not running Playstore.. Will the Market Share for Android go up? Confused...
43. Aplusk (Posts: 107; Member since: 10 Nov 2013)
i dont know, wheather i should still call it android. its a linux based kernal apps running everywhere and everyone using it and wants a sweet pie of it. its no more google android. there are android based set top box, yandex app store, mobogenie market, 1mobile market. and i dont no all these have link to single market share called android.
44. garlic456 (Posts: 193; Member since: 24 Dec 2012)
I think yok are wrong. This phone is popular, only because of its price/performance awesomeness. No one would buy if it was $700
46. akki20892 (Posts: 3621; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)
Let the war begin guys. Take over Nokia device department and make our own high end android. Nokia and Android can make it legendary phone and unbeatable.
3. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)
Yes, regular users will care! Because it's a Nokia phone running Android, this is what many people want from Nokia, this is what we desire.
10. Tas09 (Posts: 7; Member since: 08 Jan 2014)
Not actual Android, a forked, and in a very good way, version of Android, if that's what you mean. And we? Oh no, I am pretty much sure that no 'Droid' fans would want a phone without Google Play services; what's the actual point in that?
But it's always good to come up with something new.
11. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)
Yeah, the Nokia X series have no Google Play services which is quite disappointing. But here it is, Nokia phone running Android, what else do you want?
14. Wiki_jaan (Posts: 703; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)
28. dexter_jdr (Posts: 1161; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)
heads or tails, its still a coin.
forked or not, its still android.
45. TechBizJP08 (Posts: 495; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)
How do you say its not a real Android? What's a real android? You asked for an Android Nokia, now here it is. Still you whine? WTF you're at?
35. Epicness1o1 (Posts: 215; Member since: 30 May 2013)
I'm sold if they make a Nokia X with 41 MP :D
6. techperson211 (Posts: 707; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)
If only they've done this way back when they're still a Finnish company. Maybe just maybe they're still a the top of mobile industry. I'm not really into Nokia when Microsoft acquired it.
7. Bernoulli (Posts: 1501; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)
of course we care that the phone is android, it's nice to have diversity within Nokia asha
12. tech2 (Posts: 2354; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)
Of course, you care ! But the question is to 'regular people' who can't easily access Google Play Services and other android customization.
How often do you find Android apps running on Blackberry ? How often you find Amazon's tablet being rooted ? Barely 1% of android users actually root their devices as they're afraid of losing warranties to their devices.
17. Bernoulli (Posts: 1501; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)
Okay that is true, but if "regular people " wouldn't care about an operating system Nokia would still be number one, but it isn't, so actually a lot of people care and want their laggy os
21. Reality_Check (Posts: 277; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)
"laggy os" Wow, I thought people were past that... just like "WP has no apps and no games" :3
23. elitewolverine (Posts: 1938; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)
Bernoulli actually no.
You go into any store and most (not all i would bet half because my exerpience is riding the 80% train) the sales person didnt even know that a windows phone comes preloaded with MS Office and that when i emailed them, their own droid phones, a .doc file they couldnt open it and had to pull up 'trouble shooting docs' to find out why.
Most people own droids because other than blackberry which has the business monkier stuck to them, they know two phones, iphones and that other smartphone. Most dont even know its droid. They know and heard of it, but most dont care. None of them will even know side loading apps exist.
Hell most i deal with on a day to day basis didnt even know there was a difference between Samsung Droid variant and the LG or HTC or Sony variants...
When i go into a store i ask for a simple smart phone they instantly want to give me a S3, despite the 300 asking price of the phone, and not the Nokia.
I get sales reps exchanging Nokia 521's because they had no clue how the SmartCam app worked and had this lady convinced her camera was broken. 4 phone trade ins no less.
So no the 'average' user who will download maybe 10 apps, mainly games because their friend told them, who has no clue how to block calls, or this or that or even know how to use google to do a search on a google.process error...will not care.
64. Bernoulli (Posts: 1501; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)
Typical t-mobile reps, oh well you go ahead and deal with them bud, and besides it's all about choice, I had bad experiences with android so no lagdroid for me
70. bhinibirocha (Posts: 2; Member since: 03 Mar 2014)
That is because you are comparing high end smart phone to a diverse android market. Most high end android comes preloaded with office doc viewer and some low end android like alcatel comes preloaded with office doc viewer although most in trial you have to buy the software to fully activate it.
26. tech2 (Posts: 2354; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)
Hypocrisy at its best ! Do you really think android would own 80% of world smartphones if it was laggy ?! The year is 2014, kid.
'Regular people' aren't fanboys. That's what makes them regular.
29. dexter_jdr (Posts: 1161; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)
android owned 80% in the world because of, say it with me...
a crapload of them.mostly free.
and will always get lag after months.high end or not
32. Arirank (Posts: 40; Member since: 19 Jan 2014)
U just not smart enough to use smartphone.. coz i use Android n so far so good no laggy... Juat rmmber about "memory management"
38. dexter_jdr (Posts: 1161; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)
people who can dig deep into the android os can stabilize/maintain its performance
33. fireblade (Posts: 714; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)
actually my friend's Lumia 520 lag when it opens Here maps. I run sygic in my crap android phone and it runs fluidly
68. Bernoulli (Posts: 1501; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)
dude you're talking about a phone with a 512 MB ram memory, even in symbian phones like my 808 pureview it's going to lag a little, give them a break man it's still an awesome choice on the go.
34. fireblade (Posts: 714; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)
wow, what lags? I currently have an android phone with 512 MB of RAM and running ICS 4.0.4 which is not optimized. It doesn't lag at all. Too bad my friend's Lumia can't change wallpaper.
37. dexter_jdr (Posts: 1161; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)
seen a SGS4 of a friend. wild lags appear.
52. PBXtech (Posts: 980; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)
Diversity of handsets, customization, lots of OEM, and pricing from low to high end is what caused Android to hit 80% world share.
The apps didn't take off until the market share started climbing. It wasn't the market share that brought in the apps, it was the exact opposite.
59. elitewolverine (Posts: 1938; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)
Yes they still would because the people in the stores push them.
They even tried to convince me, a person looking specifically for Office on the phone to search the play store for 3rd party apps and just buy a s3.
The reason why droid overtook blackberry and ios was because of price.
We can talk about lag, just yesterday I had to tech a guys phone, who had 6 downloaded apps. Their phone took 8 seconds to go from contact to dialing the phone number. Clearing dialer data through app manager fixed it. This phone was 3 months old. Two reps told him that up to 10 seconds was normal, and he is right. Troubleshooting docs of android state 5-10seconds delay is normal for any app.
But yes your use is the same as everyone elses, and the internet is not filled with 'droid laggy' topics, with answers of 'you have to baby your phone'.
9. PBXtech (Posts: 980; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)
My guess is people who don't follow tech sites like us will think it's "another version of Windows." MS better make sure it integrates with Windows services smoothly or it may backfire.
13. Planterz (Posts: 1006; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
If the Nokia X's are recognized as Android devices, I think a lot of people who buy them will be pissed off, because to them Android means Google, and they'll expect the PlayStore.
A parallel can be drawn with Amazon's Kindle, but people that buy the Kindle don't expect the Play Store.
Associating a "Nokia X Software Platform" with "Fastlane to Android apps" is extremely misleading. While it might technically be true, the average user won't understand what this actually means, and will be disappointed in what they get. The same goes for associating it with WP, since it's NOT true, and they definitely won't get what they expect.
Ask a dozen or two Android phone owners if they know what sideloading is, and you might get one or 2 that do. As for BB10...well, I've never even met anyone who uses one, let alone one that knows about using Android apps on it.
22. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1788; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)
I'm just not understanding the point of these phones. The price of the Nokia X is right about the same as the Lumia 520, so there's no difference there. Android takes more resources to run smoothly than WP does, especially since they're using 4.1, and these phones are specd like they were released in 2011 so I can't imagine a smooth experience. Finally, to access all of these android apps, you're gonna have to sideload them, and if they're not tech savvy that might not work well.
As far as the BB comparison relating to being able to access android apps, the difference is those phones run BB OS with an emulator to run said apps. These phones will be running a forked version of android to run android apps. For a better analogy, it would be similar to the story about making android apps be able to run on WP devices. Just saying.
24. elitewolverine (Posts: 1938; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)
Emerging markets, a phone that will go on sale probably before the update to 8.1 and less hardware constraints. As well, MS pays nothing to google, gets a free OS in the process.
People concered about the 'app' gap will be drawn to this because it will be most likely cheaper than other droids.
There is a reason walmart barely kep the nokia 521 in stock here in my town that has 8 super walmarts. I still cant find them on the shelves in most stores, and the 70$ asking price is a steal and a half when you box them up and put it up on the shelves.
Most people dont care what OS it is running. No one cares that those 50$ black friday droid tablets were nearly useless, all they cared was that they were $50 and their kids could watch netflix and play angry birds. They didnt care that they couldnt use the tablet without first having a gmail account, that for some odd reason the tablet didnt let them setup and had to link an existing account.
What they cared about was $$$$$$ and how much they dont have to spend.
49. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1788; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)
So why not ramp up production on the 500 series Lumia devices, rather than split resources between them and the X series? If they can't keep them on the shelves, why wouldn't you throw the resources for the X at increasing production of the 500 series?
When you mentioned hardware constraints, did you actually mean hardware requirements? If so, while android doesn't have any per se, if the hardware is too low it will be a dog. WP needs less in terms of resources to run smoothly, so it would do better with lesser hardware.
No MS doesn't have to pay Google anything to use stock android, but they don't have to pay themselves to use WP either. I know Nokia isn't a part of MS yet legally, but let's face it, for all intents and purposes, they are.
As far as cost, like I said above, the lumia 500 series phones are the same price or cheaper compared to the X line, so that makes no sense why it'd be better to go with the X series over the Lumias. If the X phones were cheaper than the Lumias it would make sense, but they're not.
On the subject of apps, again why not use what you have (Lumia 500 series) and make an emulator to run android apps? There was already a story on this a few days back. The cost to do that would be cheaper than designing and producing three new phone models along with the cost of changing android for their liking.
My whole point is, if MS wants people in their ecosystem using their services, why not use an actual WP device to do so? By using android to be their gateway, it almost sounds like either they're not confident in their OS, or they're trying to trick people into their ecosystem using a lumia phone in android clothing. While true stock android doesn't involve Google at all, that's what the majority of people think of when looking at an Android phone, the same way some people call every android phone a Droid. The author points out that Amazon has done this with great success, but the difference is Amazon didn't have an OS before android, and MS does, so why not use it? You bring up that they want a device to sell that's available before the 8.1 update goes live. So are WPs unusable without 8.1?
They're spending quite a bit to r&d the device and it's iteration of android, when they have an in house solution. I don't get how android is cheaper for them when compared to using their own operating system. Are they having to pay themselves for it's use?
60. elitewolverine (Posts: 1938; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)
I wonder the same thing, but more than likely app gap currently and because the hardware in these phones at this time are not win8 capable.
While 8.1 will allow it, when these go on sale with the hardware that was designed months prior, it just wasn't 'feasable'.
Also while droid requires more resources, it doesn't have the all inclusive play services that give me a headache in tech care every day for crashing.
I think it was more a double edge sword, emerging markets where droid is highly popular and launching an entire new os to them such as win8 or 8.1 would have been much harder than to just code a fork of android.
I find it silly like you do, but we can only guess at the motivation. I am thinking patents, and emerging markets where 521 hardware may not work with others nicely.
71. bhinibirocha (Posts: 2; Member since: 03 Mar 2014)
I wish they would bring back windows mobile 2003 se on today's hardware specs i bet it would be fast. Just my two cents. :)
42. Whateverman (Posts: 3231; Member since: 17 May 2009)
Ive wondered the same thing. We always see stories of Nokia just killing with their low end devices for the emerging markets. If that's true, why not expand that market instead of taking a whole other os, stripping it, customizing it to look almost like a 520, then tell these "non tech savvy" consumers they can sideload apps instead of having the Play Store? This just seems like a huge waste to me and Microsoft ifs more concerned with sticking it to Google, and not so much with listening to what people say they want. So will people care? Many will not, but after seeing this side by side with unforkred Android device I think many will feel like this was a bait and switch.
50. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1788; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)
That's what I thought myself. Elitewolverine said using android was cheaper, but not when you factor in r&d on the X line and changing android to fit their needs.
Using an emulator to run android apps on WP makes much more sense. You still get access to the apps. But I think the reason they aren't doing that is image. It would make them look like WP isn't as capable as android. Here they're producing an android phone that runs with android apps, but you'd have to side load them since you don't have access to the Play store.
Which bring up two potential problems, piracy and malware. These people are going to have to sideload the apk files, and for paid apps how are they going to pay the developer? Short answer, they aren't, so this is almost like MS endorsing piracy of android developer's apps. I wonder if those same developers are going to want to create apps for an OS where its parent company was behind taking money away from them. Second, malware could be a problem as well. When side loading an apk file, there is always that risk that it could be malware. When installing apps using the Play store, there is some peace of mind knowing that those apk files have been vetted. But downloading and installing them outside the Play store offers no such protection. You take a risk every time you do it, and that's the OS MS wants these people to buy into? No thanks.
72. Jason78 (Posts: 70; Member since: 10 Apr 2013)
The Nokia 520 was released Feb 25,2013 and cost $185 when first released. It is selling for $60 today because it is a year old and has been replaced by the Lumia 525. Nokia is getting rid of old stock at a big discount. The Lumia 525 costs $185. That is a lot more than the X phones especially in developing countries.
You can't compare prices of a new phone to one that is a year old.
25. noteseries (Posts: 80; Member since: 29 Oct 2013)
all i need is HERE maps on my note3, when will it happen?-_-!
67. Kaiser2007 (Posts: 158; Member since: 16 Nov 2013)
You can install Nokia Store when they release it.
Or, ask XDA:http://www.phonearena.com/news
31. dratomic (Posts: 475; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)
i care because of that girl whos holdin it :)))
40. AfterShock (Posts: 2900; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)
I suspect this back firing.
Once users see, android is all that an runs good on low end hardware using these phones their choice of OS may be challenged as a sham with migration to a better phone afterwards powered by android.
Not one charading as a full os.
41. kabhijeet.16 (Posts: 659; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)
The only think in favour of Nokia Android devices is its Price. It will be a sure hit if priced below Lumia520.
But this might also bite Nokia. If these phones perform well, due to WP UI on Nokia X's, WP will gain popularity.
However, if opposite happens, even Lumia line will be destroyed..
And as per WP Fans, android is pathetic.. That means Nokia X's are pathetic. That means WP is affected. Coz common people dont know/care about OS. So, they should be ready for devastation of WP.