If I told you a Nokia phone garnered one million pre-orders in just four days would you expect it to be a Lumia? You’d be wrong if so: It’s the Nokia X that runs on Android.

Nokia X group
photo: Nokia

In just a few days since orders began, the Android-powered Nokia X handset quickly hit a milestone: One million handsets ordered in China. The news surfaced in a Friday posting by Nokia on China’s Weibo site and was later retweeted by the Nokia Twitter account.

Orders for the handset, which was announced at last month’s Mobile World Congress event, started on March 10 according to GForGames. That makes the milestone fairly impressive as Nokia hit the mark in four days. Granted, one million handsets in a country with a total population topping 1.3 billion people is a small percentage overall. However, it signifies that Nokia could be on to something with its strategy to use Android phones to seed emerging markets with Microsoft services.

Nokia X group

When the company announced the Nokia X, some suggested Microsoft could and will scrap it; Microsoft offered $7.17 billion for Nokia’s phone business but the deal hasn’t officially closed yet. Microsoft previously said the deal should close in the first quarter of 2014, so I’d expect news any day.

I expect Microsoft will keep the Nokia X lineup in the mix because it offers something that Microsoft itself doesn’t: A trio of low-cost handsets that can introduce millions of new customers to SkyDrive, Xbox Music, and Outlook to name a few services. Microsoft can’t do that with the Nokia Asha phones so the Nokia X fits in between Asha and Windows Phone. It also borrows the Fastlane user interface from Asha, which can further help customers transition and trade up.

Since I haven’t used the phone — it won’t be coming to the U.S. — I can’t speak to its performance and user experience. However, when compared to the Asha phones, I suspect it’s a step up. A million people may think the same already, based on China’s pre-order numbers.

My colleague Alex Colon did spend a few minutes with the handset, so if you’re in a market that expects to see the Nokia X for sale, this video is a good preview of what you can expect.

  1. If it’s a hit ( despite not having Play Store access and Google services) it only shows that Elop robbed Nokia investors blind and the board should be liable too.

  2. This surely indicates that windows phone were not preferred by many. Windows was a failure.
    The few whom I know who used it always complained of how difficult it is to do things like copying music. It good they have Nokia has turned to android but windows should seriously be improved.

    1. Except the UI is reportedly very similar to Windows Phone, so I don’t think we can make that conclusion; and the devices are stuffed full with MS services. I’m not sure the average user gives a damn what underlying OS it’s built on.

      This also demolishes the iphone (which was hailed a runaway success for getting 1 million sales in 76 days, and that wasn’t just one country!) 1 million in 4 days for one country is astonishing by any standard.

      1. That was the original iPhone, way back in 2007. It’s only valid to compare that to other handsets that went on sale around the same time, and sales volumes of any smartphone at the time were quite low.

  3. I will never, ever buy anything that has a bland and ugly tile based user interface. I’m awaiting the inevitable return of skeumorphism. Call it retromorphism.

    Also waiting for the day that global commerce means if you can buy something in one country or region you can buy it in any. No artificial profit walls. If I was king of the world that’s the way it would be.

  4. At the beginning one could understand why people choose Android despite it being Google. Now today, with al the discussions, scandals and revelations, it is a bit strange nobody seems to understand what Nokia is offering. Intentionally or unintentionally Nokia made a game changer. Not the first, I know, but the first one with enough brand power and experience to make it happen.

  5. James Peterson Sunday, March 16, 2014

    Nokia X Full Review and Unboxing

  6. very worst mobile its for nokia x.. it`s spoils the name for nokia..
    cost also high but dn`t have a good feature with compare other brand ..(andriod apps)..
    pls dn`t buy this…waste…i bought this nokia x it`s wasted my money..


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