Nokia’s mobile division is now under the control of Microsoft. With the transition, changes are bound to take place.
One of those changes involves the last independent act Nokia made before its mobile division became part of Microsoft. In a new email to employees, Nokia head Stephen Elop announced that Nokia’s stubborn act of releasing its Nokia X, XL, and X+ smartphones would see its end: Microsoft will take the Nokia X line and bring it under subjection to Microsoft and its Windows Phone OS.
The change will take effect immediately: “It is particularly important to recognize that the role of phones within Microsoft is different than it was within Nokia. Whereas the hardware business of phones within Nokia was an end unto itself, within Microsoft all our devices are intended to embody the finest of Microsoft’s digital work and digital experiences, while accruing value to Microsoft’s overall strategy.”
Whereas Nokia could make smartphones in the past and brand Nokia on them (while giving them various names), Nokia’s mobile division is now a Microsoft entity and exists to reflect Microsoft’s vision. The best way that the Nokia mobile team can do that is to have all of its smartphones running Windows Phone. Therefore, Nokia’s X, XL, and X+ smartphones cannot run and operate on Android anymore because Android is a direct rival OS to Windows Phone.
Elop said in his employee statement that Microsoft will continue to support existing Nokia X, XL, and X+ offerings while transitioning the Nokia X line from its current branding to the “Lumia” name – which seems to indicate that the Lumia name will remain with Microsoft for some time. “We will be particularly focused on making the market for Windows Phone. In the near term, we plan to drive Windows Phone volume by targeting the more affordable smartphone segments, which are the fastest growing segments of the market, with Lumia.” In other words, the Nokia X line will become Nokia Lumia phones. Whether they’ll retain the “X,” “XL,” and “X+” monikers is anyone’s guess at this point.
What we do know is that these phones will become budget Lumias, the Lumia line having become Nokia’s largest success. Rather than having a smorgasbord of Nokia smartphones, some Lumia, some others, Microsoft looks to consolidate its offerings by branding all Nokia built phones under the Lumia name.
While it is sad to see these Nokia Android phones leaving Android and being gathered under Windows Phone, it’s a wise business strategy for an OS that’s being left in the dust by Android and iOS. Sometimes, it pays to scale back variety and go with the familiar until a company’s financially available to branch out and try different things. The “Lumia” name has become a popular one for Nokia, and Microsoft intends to utilize its popularity for profit.
What do you think? Are you sad to see the Nokia X, XL, and X+ lose their Android status? Does the new “Lumia” branding help you see these smartphones in a different light, or do you intend to purchase the high-end Lumia offerings? Do your thing in the comments.