Microsoft today introduced the Nokia X2, the newest in a family of Nokia smartphones running on a forked version of the Android operating system.
The X2 has a 4.3-inch display, 5MP rear camera, Qualcomm Snapdragon 20 processor, 1GB of RAM, and features such as Fastlane to access recent apps, an apps list from which people can pin items to the home screen, and a pull-down notification tab, according to Microsoft. It will start rolling out globally in July and sell for 99 euros.
Microsoft says it has no plans to introduce the Nokia X2, or others in the Nokia X range, in the U.S. “We believe the U.S. market is well-served by our Lumia range of Windows Phones,” the company said in a statement.
Nokia in February introduced the Nokia X, X+ and XL, all based on Google’s open-source Android operating system. The phones run Android apps but are all tied by default into Microsoft’s services such as Skype, OneDrive and Outlook.com. They, like the X2, are being targeted toward the emerging market, or, as Microsoft (and Nokia before it) put it: the “next billion” people to get into mobile Internet and cloud services.
The move was seen as targeting two key weaknesses in Nokia’s and Microsoft’s 3-year-old partnership in which Windows Phone was Nokia’s primary smartphone operating system. But the ecosystem was hampered by a comparative lack of apps and it needed to be able to sell cheaper smartphones in emerging markets.
There was a question, though, after Microsoft closed its acquisition of Nokia in April, whether Microsoft would continue producing this line of Android phones.
Microsoft said in its news release today that the company “continues to invest in services for the Nokia X family,” adding that the Nokia X phones were driving “strong uptake of services such as Skype and OneDrive,” and that the company has introduced new services to the lineup including OneNote and Yammer — now available for download in the Nokia Store.
The company also said the Nokia X is the top-selling smartphone in Pakistan, Russia, Kenya and Nigeria, and is the third top seller in India.