Microsoft kills Nokia X Android range; some devices to become Lumia Windows Phones

Microsoft today announced the biggest layoffs in its history, with 18,000 set to go. 12,500 of the jobs to be axed will be those of former Nokia employees, who joined Microsoft as part of its acquisition of Nokia's devices business. 

But there was another interesting detail in the email that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sent to the company's workforce today. It appears that the company will terminate the 'great Android experiment' that Nokia embarked upon when it launched its Nokia X devices earlier this year. 

"We plan to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows," he said. "This builds on our success in the affordable smartphone space and aligns with our focus on Windows Universal Apps." 

The Nokia X range of Android devices has so far been little more than a curiosity since they were launched in February, with many struggling to understand how these handsets would fit into Microsoft's broader strategy post-acquisition. Apparently, they don't, and rather than continuing to flog a dead horse, the company is preparing instead to convert some of its Nokia X Android handsets into Lumia Windows Phones instead. 

The move will come as a surprise to some, given the launch less than a month ago of the Nokia X2, which some saw as definitive proof that Microsoft was committed to developing the Android strategy that Nokia had started. 

Former Nokia CEO and current Microsoft executive Stephen Elop echoed Nadella's comments in his own letter to staff. He said that the company plans "to deliver additional lower-cost Lumia devices by shifting select Nokia X designs and products to Windows Phone devices. We expect to make this shift immediately while continuing to sell and support existing Nokia X products."

The changes indicate that Microsoft has no interest in developing additional platforms, but rather plans to focus its efforts on getting its products and services onto existing ones. 

Source: Microsoft 1 / 2

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Good. I liked the idea of promoting MS services but if the phone was crappy, well, first impressions are everything. Focus on your brand. Focus on WP. Screw Android. No offense to Android owners. :)

From what I hear, MS spent a lot of time convincing developers to try out and move to this platform, that's going to P*ss off the ones that went with the ideas.

I think MS had no choice but to launch the X2 as it was ready to go prior to the purchase of the Nokia Devices and Services division and it would cost too much to abandon at such a late stage, but might have been able to recoup some loses as a result.

Great strategy but very late. But Nokia X was an awsm experiment. So it's party time for Windows Phone users ! Cheers !!!!!!!!!!!!

considering it was just a last big ###### to microsoft from some Nokia employees it's not a suprise they are stopping it. TBH it took them longer than I thought, probably because they needed to get rid of the already produced X2 line to recuperate some of the cost. It must have made some execs at MS really made that they had to market android though :D

I hope they don't stop making the really cheap Nokia phones like the Nokia 100 etc.

They last forever and ideal as a back up or for traveling.

In India, Nokia older gen platform basic 2G voice / text based handset and Nokia Asha range is in huge demand since of its price range and extreme durability.. Frankly speaking, in this segment, there is nothing to compete with Nokia and being in developing nation, people do buy them in lot..

That is going to cause a problem here..

The original X was an awful phone and never should have been released. The X2 was at least usable, but again, probably should have never been released.

This is cleaning up a mistake that should have never happened... but you have to feel for anyone who bought one. At least MS will support them for customers for the next few years, and hopefully all those users won't feel 'burned' and will just trade up to better Windows phones.

As good as Windows Phone is, I've NEVER seen someone using one. I see many iPhones and Galaxy/Nexus phones though. And very few Xperia, some LGs from time to time, I saw someone using a HTC One the other day.

Apple and Samsung phones are literally everywhere

I've used one for almost two years now, and for the first year, I was the only one I ever saw using one. I've seen a few more since then, including being on a plane and the guy seated next to me using one. What are the chances?!? :-) But I'm definitely seeing more now.

Personally, I moved from the iPhone because I found it so frustrating (I use Windows at home, and having to use iTunes was a nightmare). I've been very happy with the superior camera especially, great form-factor, and lots of great features others simply don't have ("Glance" being a huge thing for me). I'm rather proud to not be a lemming or sheep, following the crowd. I have the phone that works best for me. And I hope as Windows Phone grows in popularity, it's because people actually like the phone rather than "just because everyone else is moving there".

the nurse that delivered our baby to our room had one. I've seen it on many airports. I've seen it plenty of times in time square where everybody takes a pic with their phone. A few co-workers have them (I don't work for MS).

Windows phone has a global share of 3% true, but apple is around 13% meaning for every 10 iOS devices you see, there should be a couple WP sets out there. That is nothing to laugh at considering how much iOS is out there. The problem is that most WP devices aren't in the US.

There's still room for improvement but it has come a long way. I think a Zune 8 client would do WONDERS for the platform but MS is hell bent on pushing streaming (Xbox Music) and eliminating the PC as hub/syncing.

There's also no glamor model yet, ala Galaxy S5, HTC One M8.

I was actually ready to give a 930 a go, but it's only coming to US on Verizon :/

Well, technically it's already here on Verizon as the "Icon".

New flagship phones are coming to the US and AT&T this fall. I'm just hoping it's not too BIG. I like the screen size on the 920, and anything bigger than the 930 would seem "too big" to me. I don't want a 5.5 or 6" phone...

Android just lost the most powerful hardware devices these days... Nokia is well known because the quality of the hardware

acido00 said,
Android just lost the most powerful hardware devices these days... Nokia is well known because the quality of the hardware

?!

acido00 said,
Android just lost the most powerful hardware devices these days... Nokia is well known because the quality of the hardware

I think they have some nice stuff from sony. the LG nexus and Samsung stuff is just crap. But yeah, if they had gotten a lumia flagship I'd be quite dissapointed at MS.

neonspark said,

I think they have some nice stuff from sony. the LG nexus and Samsung stuff is just crap. But yeah, if they had gotten a lumia flagship I'd be quite dissapointed at MS.

LG Nexus got great reviews and people really like it. LG makes good phones, so does Sony, HTC, and yes...even Samsung.

acido00 said,
Android just lost the most powerful hardware devices these days... Nokia is well known because the quality of the hardware

What? Nokia constructs solid phones but their internal components are way behind a lot of Androids.

Just take the Nokia X2 hardware, load Windows Phone 8.1 on it and call it the Lumia 530, sit back and watch it sell. With the 520 managing to sell 12million units a better spec'd and equally low priced 530 should be able to top that figure without question.

Lower cost Lumia devices? Do they not realize the Lumia 520 can be had anywhere from $40 (on sale) to $60? How much cheaper can unlocked phones get? I'm not complaining - I'm all for cheaper, better quality, and more competitive devices. Bring them on! This will be great for developing countries also.

Good thing they killed Nokia X series. Sounded/looked terrible from all the reviews I've seen.

The phone cost that you quoted are based on some form contract with a service provider . There are millions if not billions of people in "emerging markets" that need cheap phones. I always try to remind people that cheap phones are not geared towards "first world" countries. At this point market share is the key, and don't worry they always produce "hero phones".

Funny enough though, the 520 costs that much in the US, if you want to buy the device in a poorer country like here in Honduras, you are looking at spending around $300

Steven P. said,
Except the Nokia X line is better than the 5xx/6xx lines as pointed out in the Lumia 630 review (more RAM, camera flash etc).

The only thing lacking for the 63x is the RAM, so I'll give the Nokia X that as it has 1GB, but from what it sounds like they're going to just take that hardware and make it a Lumia now. I don't know why Nokia thought (and yes this was still all Nokia) a 63x with 512MB of RAM was good enough for todays market but I'm thinking they were trying to cut as much costs out as they could, though an extra 512MB couldn't have added that much to the device, which makes the choice even more odd.

Anyways, now with MS in control and it's cash reserves they should be able to offer better hardware for less (like what Motorola, now Lenovo, has with the E and G etc) and also have better release schedules instead of these slow staggered releases Nokia would do because I think it was trying not to spend big up front.

red hook said,
The phone cost that you quoted are based on some form contract with a service provider . There are millions if not billions of people in "emerging markets" that need cheap phones. I always try to remind people that cheap phones are not geared towards "first world" countries. At this point market share is the key, and don't worry they always produce "hero phones".
No they are not. Those are prices for Unlocked Lumia 520 in the US. Like I said, this will be beneficial for developing countries that primarily use pre-paid plans, unlike the US.

@ Steven, hardware might be better, but they butchered the software so much.

IMO, it's decisions like the Nokia X that led to Nokia losing the smartphone market and being bought out by Microsoft. The Nokia X is a directionless, poorly thought out phone with little hope of succeeding. That was Nokia before selling out. They had too many phones, too many OSs and no idea which direction they wanted (or needed) to go. It's no surprise that Nokia's first post-Windows Phone device turned out to be a complete mess. I'm glad Microsoft isn't dealing with this headache anymore.

"It appears that the company will terminate the 'great Android experiment'"

YES!!! THANK YOU Satya Nadella and all the senior executives of the Operating Systems division.

According to Saulo Passos, Head of Communications, Mobile Phones at Microsoft Devices Group it's "getting a tremendous consumer response. In Russia, for example, it is the number one smartphone according to GfK market research firm.

"The phone also enjoys that position in Pakistan. We are seeing great momentum also coming from China, Indonesia and Brazil." So what's the key to its popularity?

http://www.techradar.com/news/...ne-you-ll-never-buy-1254061

techbeck said,
Who cares. Everyone is entitled to their opinion... especially when that opinion agrees with mine.

Better that way?

HawkMan said,
Now, where's boz to tell everyone that android was Microsofts future
Not Microsoft's future, but it sure would have helped poor Nokia dig itself out of the hole Windows Phone made for it. Nokia did the right thing anyway. It dumped its money bleeding exclusive WP division for a ton of MS' bucks, and can make a real Android phone in 2016.

HawkMan said,
and WP was a failure and would be cancelled ?

3% is a failure after 4 years on the market. There's no disputing that. Especially when you consider how much money has been thrown at it. And don't forget that Windows Mobile had over 10% of the market at one point. It's all down hill.

Microsoft loses something like 2 billion a year on Xbox alone, so ploughing endless cash into something like WP to keep the corpse alive is normal for them I suppose.

4% that's nearly a doubling from last year. If you look at Europe alone its a lot more, if you look at asia they have huge chunk of the market, many places second place.

Success is more than percentages.

WM has 10% of a market that was 1% of this market.

techbeck said,
Who cares. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Sure they are, but you haven't read Boz' posts have you..

Whenever he climbs off his 5 mile high horse and presents anything as an opinion. And accepts other people have opinions and his "facts" aren't the only thing in the world that everyone needs follow.

simplezz said,
3% is a failure after 4 years on the market. There's no disputing that.

I can't agree with you on that one. By that logic, Linux is also a failure after 20+ years on the market. However, I think Linux is a success in its own way and it would be a shame if it disappeared all of a sudden. If it was a failure, there would be no interest in having it go on so many years.

Enron said,

I can't agree with you on that one. By that logic, Linux is also a failure after 20+ years on the market.

Android is Linux, as is ChromeOS. If you're talking about desktop Linux, well it's never really had the push from OEM's, so it can't be compared.

Windows Phone devices are made by most of the top OEM's, yet it's failed to make an impact. I wish desktop Linux had billions to push it into the mainstream. Perhaps Valve will help there somewhat.

Enron said,

However, I think Linux is a success in its own way and it would be a shame if it disappeared all of a sudden. If it was a failure, there would be no interest in having it go on so many years.

It's FOSS. People choose to install it themselves on their own devices and have done from the beginning (No OEM has ever really pushed a mainstream distro). Yet it still has millions of users. That says a lot about its popularity.

simplezz said,

Android is Linux, as is ChromeOS. If you're talking about desktop Linux, well it's never really had the push from OEM's, so it can't be compared.

Windows Phone devices are made by most of the top OEM's, yet it's failed to make an impact. I wish desktop Linux had billions to push it into the mainstream. Perhaps Valve will help there somewhat.


It's FOSS. People choose to install it themselves on their own devices and have done from the beginning (No OEM has ever really pushed a mainstream distro). Yet it still has millions of users. That says a lot about its popularity.

You can give as much excuses as you can. But if WP is failure than Linux if failure by same logic.

Now you are counting Android in it, So should i count Windows Desktop using same logic? Because then Linux will look like bigger failure.

simplezz said,

It's FOSS. People choose to install it themselves on their own devices and have done from the beginning (No OEM has ever really pushed a mainstream distro). Yet it still has millions of users. That says a lot about its popularity.

Yes and nobody is forced to buy a Windows Phone either. It is merely another option on the market and it isn't hurting anybody. In fact, quite the opposite. A lot of the innovative features are already being copied by iOS and Android (not saying WP doesn't also copy features), but in the end we all benefit.

Funny how android(offially not considered Linux) is considered to be Linux or not Linux by the flock depending on what's suits the current topic discussed and whether being or not being is a benefit.

Android is less Linux than OSX is BSD.

macoman said,
Good question... wondering if they will push an OS Upgrade... not a bad idea after all.
They should offer a choice for people using the device. WP or Vanilla Android

TAKEITBILL said,
I would assume the phones that were not sold yet will get IS update to WP.
Where does that leave existing users though? Will they get new OS releases (Android)?

Rudy said,
Where does that leave existing users though? Will they get new OS releases (Android)?

It leaves them in the same place any budget/lower end android phone owner is left, SOL and with whatever OS they have when they got the phone. There's still a large number of Android phones that never see a update at all, let alone ones that sell for $99 or less off contract.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
Yeah. And excite the three that bought WP...

What ever, next time dont spew hate huh.

"What ever, next time dont spew hate huh."

Maybe you should practice what you preach considering your first line was this:

"Yeah. And excite the three that bought WP..."

neo158 said,

"Yeah. And excite the three that bought WP..."

Ever since Windows phone 7 came out i've seen 3 people who bought one.

1) A girl 2 or 3 years ago
2) The bar tender at reds. He had a phablet ... that was about 6 month ago
3) Another bartender at reds that just started .. this was 3 week ago.

Every one else owns an iPhone or Android.

warwagon said,

Ever since Windows phone 7 came out i've seen 3 people who bought one.

1) A girl 2 or 3 years ago
2) The bar tender at reds. He had a phablet ... that was about 6 month ago
3) Another bartender at reds that just started .. this was 3 week ago.

Every one else owns an iPhone or Android.

I know quite a few people who own a Nokia WP, and have seen quite a few others carrying a WP. So, what's your point?

This arguing over "I never seen someone with such and such device" is getting old. Depending on where you live, you may not see any or you may see a ton. Same goes with any other device/product. As big as Android is, I am sure there are many places where they are not very visible. Same goes with WP. WP may not be very popular, but there are places where lots have them. I dont see many with WP where I live, but doesnt mean the platform is dead, dying, or will go away anytime soon if at all.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
Yeah. And excite the three that bought WP...

What ever, next time dont spew hate huh.

That wasn't hate =).

Hate is: Feeling of intense hostility: a feeling of intense hostility toward somebody or something

That was neither intense or hostile =).

I think sarcastic/mocking is the term to use.

Sarcastic: Mocking: characterized by words that mean the opposite of what they seem to say and are intended to mock or deride

The only reason I bring it up is because there is hate in the world that is bad. But other things that aren't hate get categorized as hate and muddies up what real hate is.

warwagon said,
Ever since Windows phone 7 came out i've seen 3 people who bought one.
In the team I work with (27 people) there's 2 Lumia 800s, 7 WP8 devices and the rest is Android ans I believe 1 iPhone The business I work has a LOT of Windows Phones

The plural of anecdote is =/= data. "I've never met anyone..." "I know 12 people with..."

None of that matters. Hard numbers matter and while not stellar, the numbers aren't bad. There were tech bloggers that swore WP would be dead by now. Nope. Not on top but not dead. Honestly, what idiot would think it'd be on top? You have two massively popular platforms (one is cheap and the other is a cult ;) ) vs an underdog and the typical MS stigma. I'd say they've done pretty good.

With a new captain at the helm, I hope it does even better.

IMHO I wouldn't even go as far as to say that's the reason. I'd say it has more to do with the fact that the performance on the device was absolutely horrid bringing a bad name to both Nokia & Microsoft

I applaud Satya Nadella for recognizing the power of Windows in their Lumia brand and ditching Android in every product will make Windows Phone stronger. I already said before than bringing Android in Nokia was the worst idea ever.