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Summary:

One retailer appears to be jumping the gun on the Normandy, showing a Nokia X handset price very near that of Nokia’s Asha 503. If accurate, this further supports the strategy of getting Microsoft services on low-end devices in emerging markets.

Nokia Android

Although Nokia hasn’t yet launched its Android-powered phone, code-named Normandy, more evidence surfaced on Thursday indicating the device will be pretty inexpensive even without a contract. Spotted by WMPowerUser, a retail website in Vietnam is showing the Nokia X A110 with a cost of $110 when converted from local currency. That’s in line with Nokia’s current low-cost handsets in the Asha product line.

nokia x a110

I checked Amazon’s U.K. site to get an overseas price for the Asha 503: It’s roughly $119 when converted from Euros. That’s about what I expected as Asha is a low-end phone that can run a limited set of apps. While the online retailer is just a single unofficial source, this price does make sense and further suggests the Nokia X will be Microsoft’s strategy to get sales growth in emerging and low-cost markets.

The Nokia X is reported to run Android but it’s likely to be the AOSP, or Android Open Source Project, version of Android. As I explained earlier today, that’s different from phones that run Android with Google apps; companies have to license Google’s apps for Android.

Nokia's "Normandy" Android phone, according to @evleaks

Nokia’s “Normandy” Android phone, according to @evleaks

How then would Microsoft benefit from this phone?

It doesn’t have to pay Google anything for the software and it could offer Android versions of Microsoft services on the handset. Think Skype, Office and OneDrive to name a few. If a large number of such phones were sold, these customers could eventually step up to full Windows Phone handsets when budgets and local mobile broadband infrastructure allow.

  1. Seems odd that the parent company (MS) has to use a competitors OS (Goog) in a partners (Nokia) phone to make it affordable as a entry level smartphone. I understand why but still,
    the mobile market sure does make for strange bedfellows.

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    1. Indeed it does make for strange approaches. Without major disruption, new ideas may be the only way for growth in certain segments of the market. Not saying this will be successful of course, but I understand the need too.

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