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Microsoft calls end to Android Nokia X smartphones
Microsoft is to stop developing Android-powered smartphones beyond those already available, the BBC understands. Android handsets will continue to be supported. The move comes as Microsoft announced 18,000 job cuts across its workforce. The tech firm acquired Nokia’s handset division earlier this year. Nokia unveiled its first family of Android phones at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona in February.
The release of the smartphones, which were priced at the lower end of the market, was described as a “perplexing strategic move” at the time, given that Microsoft had its own mobile operating system, Windows Phone. In an e-mail to employees yesterday, Stephen Elop, Microsoft’s executive in charge of mobile devices, announced that Android handsets were being phased out. “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 addition to the portfolio already planned, we plan to deliver additional lower-cost Lumia devices by shifting select future Nokia X designs and products to Windows Phone devices. “We expect to make this shift immediately while continuing to sell and support existing Nokia X products.” Ben Wood, an analyst at CCS Insight, told the BBC the move was designed to drive sales of Microsoft’s Lumia range. (BBC)