With resolutely entry-level specifications, it's easy to consider the reveal of the Nokia X phones as a bit of a disappointment. No PureView camera technology? No quad-core chipset? No. And that's not going to change any time soon, and maybe never will.
Speaking to Gizmodo, Nokia's Timo Toikkanen, executive vice president of mobile phones, firmly stated that the company's Android plans will remain focussed on the emerging markets. And that means low-cost, low-spec'd phones for the foreseeable future, and certainly no tablets.
"Our strategy, for the longest time, has been to connect the next billion people," said Toikkanen. "There's been very fast growth, especially in the last year of affordable, sub-€100 smartphones. If you look at the forecasts for the next billion people coming online for the first time in the next two to three years, 90 per cent of those people will be coming from emerging markets. We want to offer consumers choice there."
"There's no growth in the featurephone business, and one thing leads into another. We have coverage with Asha, and we have coverage with Lumia, but the competition had even more coverage, and even more devices."
"Our intention is to ensure that X continues to drive down. We want to make sure that those billion people are connecting through Nokia devices and Microsoft's cloud services. X with Android is an awesome proposition for those people."
The decision to run with a heavily modified version of Android doesn't mean then that Nokia is distancing itself from Windows Phone, nor is it the foundation to make a grab for some of the high-end Android market. It's purely business "pragmatism", says Toikkanen -- following to where the next consumer bubble is, and offering choice along the way.
"We want to be a very good business; a good business for Nokia shareholders, and a good business for Nokia devices," says Toikkanen. As such, Toikkanen hints that in the future Nokia's Windows Phone offerings will increasingly chase emerging markets too, though Lumia devices will be covering all points along the pricing spectrum. It is then, a classic Nokia move -- always strongest globally at affordable price-points, the X phones will sure up its position in a key area, while the Lumia line does the peacocking.