Nokia, (you know, Microsoft‘s mobile division), launched the Nokia X2, a low-cost Android handset last month. Yes, Android. This was the second device in the product line and a curious one at that. Because Android.
Today, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced a change in direction that will bring the Nokia X line more in line with Microsoft’s strategic direction meaning Nokia’s Android ambitions are as good as dead. The X2 never had a chance.
Going forward, Microsoft plans on shifting “select” Nokia X products to become Lumia devices running Windows.
Nokia forked Android back in February to create a new smartphone platform, which it called the Nokia X Software Platform to slot in between — pricing-wise — its Series 40 based low-cost Asha devices and its Windows Phone powered Lumia smartphones.
At the time Nokia described the fork as a Lumia “feeder” — with then CEO Stephen Elop saying Nokia X devices would be a Trojan horse within Google’s ecosystem by introducing first-time smartphone owners to Microsoft’s services rather than Mountain View’s.
Today’s announcement shouldn’t come as a surprise. Those following along saw the Nokia X line as a non-starter for Microsoft. Supporting the Android ecosystem simply didn’t align with Microsoft’s vision — even if the X line was designed for low-cost, developing regions. As Darrell stated in February, if you want Android on a Nokia phone, the X2 is your last chance.