Early this morning, or yesterday depending on your timezone, Nokia unveiled its highly anticipated Android based Nokia X line of phones. It was more than a bit surprising to find out that Nokia was making not one, but three Android phones. If you were hoping to get your hands on the device and physically touch it in a store before buying it, that is not going to happen, at least if you live in China.
Jingdong (JD.com) the second largest ecommerce site in China, will be the exclusive retailer of the Nokia X, X+ and XL devices, according to TechinAsia. I was unable to confirm the information by a second source, but TechinAsia isn’t known for reporting on stories it hasn’t confirmed.
The move is somewhat curious, because you would think Nokia/Microsoft would want to show off its forked version of Android anyway it can, but the deal likely helps them deliver the product at the price point they want. It is a practice Xiaomi has been doing for a while now with a lot of success.
If you missed the news, the Nokia X, X+ and XL are low to mid level Nokia phones that runs a heavily skinned version of Android. It’s a risky move, Microsoft is hoping that it can get users addicted to their services, like their cloud drive, their office suite, their email, etc. with a low cost Android phone, and then get them to switch to the Windows Phone powered Lumia series at some point. The risk would be that users get addicted to all those other Android apps.
Our coverage of the Mobile World Congress will continue throughout the week.