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03-03-2014 09:07 AM
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  1. dznk's Avatar
    I really do think Microsoft know exactly what's going on here and the more I look at it, the more I see this as a Services move. It still feels strange though. Just a few years ago, if you were to say Microsoft would bring nearly all of their programs onto their two rival platforms, sometimes being introduced before and updated more frequently than their very own platform in the same sector, you'd have been laughed at.

    Well we now have OneDrive, Skype, Outlook.com app, Bing etc all on iOS and Android. Microsoft simply would not have done this before. In fact iOS users are supposedly getting the latest Office developed specifically for that platform and more than likely before the Metro version of Office hits it's own Windows 8.1/RT. Sounds crazy, but again, if it boosts their user base, it's a win for them, no matter how strange it looks on the outside.

    Do remember Microsoft are now a Devices and Services company. And those Services are cross platform, whether we like it or not. Microsoft used to dominate with the PC, but now they've been caught napping in the mobile space, they are literally changing how their company operates (and they've even said this). This Android phone stuff appears to be part of this plan. No longer do Microsoft win by having the largest user base on their OS. They need to win with users using their Services because not everyone is using their OS's now.

    Blackberry have realised this as well. Why are they making BBM available on nearly all mobile platforms? Because their OS is not strong enough anymore. They need to move forward by getting large numbers of people using their product, in this case BBM.

    Have a quick read of Microsoft's top spokesman guy Frank Shaw about the Nokia X range here. Two quotes I find interesting:

    Second, we’re pleased to see Microsoft services like Skype, OneDrive and Outlook.com being introduced on these devices. This provides the opportunity to bring millions of people, particularly in growth markets, into the Microsoft family.
    It is a fascinating time in the industry today. The rate of improvements in devices, the breadth of services offered, the way consumers and businesses are using devices of all shapes and sizes to do more
    Amazing how things have changed in the last few years.
    snowmutt likes this.
    02-25-2014 04:28 PM
  2. anony_mouse's Avatar
    As I asked before, aren't all of these services already available on Android? Nokia/MS don't need to make a phone for that. I think the X line is to maintain a presence in the low end market. That is profitable in itself. It might one day benefit WP or it might not, and it might benefit MS services or it might not, but I don't see that as the primary purpose.
    MikeSo, a5cent and Nogitsune Micah like this.
    02-25-2014 04:33 PM
  3. MikeSo's Avatar
    Nokia wants a low-end device with MS services on it. The 520 is cheap but not very profitable. Slap a proprietary Android WP-ripoff on a cheap plastic slab (because they can't go full Android due to MS). Isn't it this simple?
    02-25-2014 05:07 PM
  4. Reflexx's Avatar
    My assumption of their strategy is this - Nokia felt (rightly) felt that their Series 40 software had reached the end of the road, so they needed something else for their Asha product line (which is generally claimed to be profitable and so worth continuing with or replacing). For whatever reason, Windows Phone was not deemed to be suitable, so they had to find something else. They could develop from scratch, but that would be silly when decent open source options are available, so they chose to use Android as a base. From Nokia's point of view, I'm not sure it has much to do with Windows Phone.

    As Microsoft are spending several billion USD on Nokia's phone business, I assume they hope to make some money as well. Tthe strategy seems plausible from the 'selling some phones' point of view, so they did not object. And maybe they can make some story about it 'promoting WP', although as we've seen in this thread, that's not so easy.

    As I say, just my assumption. :-)
    That sounds like a reasonable assumption.

    Asha did need to be refreshed. Having it use Android was probably the easiest way.

    Nokia (even if MS didn't buy them) would still want to steer people to Lumias in the long term. That is why they probably made it a forked version.

    If you are mainly a Nokia fan, you'll see the product line as these X phones at the bottom, and then even the same priced Lumia ranked as a higher level phone. Eventually you might just say, "Why should I get another X phone when I can get the Lumia for the same price? I'm already comfortable with the ecosystem. WP has grown already. It's not as risky anymore."
    02-25-2014 05:30 PM
  5. Reflexx's Avatar
    As I asked before, aren't all of these services already available on Android? Nokia/MS don't need to make a phone for that. I think the X line is to maintain a presence in the low end market. That is profitable in itself. It might one day benefit WP or it might not, and it might benefit MS services or it might not, but I don't see that as the primary purpose.
    They are available on regular Google Android. But if a consumer buys Google Android they may opt to use Google's services instead. That greatly reduces the chance that they would want to upgrade to a WP later because they'd have to change all their services.
    dznk likes this.
    02-25-2014 05:32 PM
  6. a5cent's Avatar
    Okay, I'm just adding some context

    I would think that's because the idea behind the X range isn't to do with specifically benefiting WP. That's not it's aim as far as I'm aware.
    At MWC Elop did in fact state: "By using Microsoft's services, Nokia X becomes a feeder system for Lumia" (video at 31:55)

    I assume this is the source for the many articles proclaiming that Nokia X is (or should be) a stepping stone onto WP. I don't buy into the stepping stone argument any more than you do, but the CEO of Nokia has explicitly stated that the X range should benefit WP.

    Beyond that, Elop provided two other reasons for this device's existence:

    They should have waited until WP8.1 is released with lower specs and on-screen nav buttons and let Nokia and OEM's bring out even cheaper devices than the 520 but with them obviously running WP.
    Elop did explicitly state that: "the Nokia X's price point will always trend below that of WP".

    However, all the usual suspects are focusing only on the bill of materials. Their argument is that the cost difference between a Snapdragon 200 based Lumia and a Snapdragon 200 based Nokia X is so small, that it in no way justifies the existence of a separate family of smartphones. That is probably true. Nevertheless, they are ignoring the costs for the OS. Whether MS factors those into the sales price is irrelevant, as those costs exist either way.

    The cost comparison to Android is a lot more interesting. MS is unlikely to take Nokia (themselves) to court over IP licensing, meaning they are truly the only OEM that gets AOSP for absolutely nothing. That is easily $5 right there. Compared to a fully licensed/certified Android device, the savings increase further. In the $60 price range, where these devices will soon be headed, and in countries where monthly take home pay is around $300, $6 or $7 is a lot of money. I suspect this allows MS to easily undercut the similarly spec'ed android competition, by an amount that is significant in developing nations.

    What would happen if MS became the Android OEM that could offer the best "bang for your buck" across all growth markets... (I'm not saying this will happen, I'm still sceptical about the "bang" part)

    The X range is really there to push Microsoft's services (Skype, OneDrive, Bing etc) to people who would have otherwise bought some other low end Android device and would have probably not been presented with these services.
    Pretty much exactly what Elop said.

    For now, the above quotes (one paraphrased) represent the only official information we've got.

    My take:

    1. They don't believe the stepping stone argument themselves.
    2. MS could be in a position to undercut every last low-end Android OEM out there.
    3. I believe that the services angle plays a role, but Nokia isn't letting on to everything (the fact that all of MS' services are already on Android is just one indicator).

    If the Nokia X sells reasonably well and the app stores actually contain what people expect, I predict we will see mid-range Nokia X phones priced above the Lumia 520 within 9 months.
    dznk and rockstarzzz like this.
    02-25-2014 05:51 PM
  7. crystal_planet's Avatar
    If the Nokia X sells reasonably well and the app stores actually contain what people expect, I predict we will see mid-range Nokia X phones priced above the Lumia 520 within 9 months.
    Not that I'm disagreeing with you, but....

    Then what? Another mid range X model because, it's nice to have a choice doncha know. And maybe a higher end model down the road?

    So what would be the end game? Forgo WP entirely for an X device? - the specs of the Lumia, with the ecosystem of Android?
    Lumia would get buried.
    02-25-2014 07:19 PM
  8. raycpl's Avatar
    Again, from what I've read the countries that will have the X will not have Nexus.
    ... in most countries no one knows what is a Nexus...
    02-25-2014 09:49 PM
  9. Paul May's Avatar
    Personally I think Nokia/MS are being smart here. They know they can't capture everyone with the devices they have now, but adding to their lineup with android devices that emerging markets can buy into and diversifying your portfolio to make extra money. The 520 has been the biggest selling WP in the world, imagine replicating that with an android device as well. It is basically using the competitions own software against them to make more money. Google won't make a dime on these phones since all the services are stripped out and maybe MS will replace it with similar bing services they can then use to sell and track android users.
    02-26-2014 01:11 AM
  10. dznk's Avatar
    As I asked before, aren't all of these services already available on Android? Nokia/MS don't need to make a phone for that. I think the X line is to maintain a presence in the low end market. That is profitable in itself. It might one day benefit WP or it might not, and it might benefit MS services or it might not, but I don't see that as the primary purpose.
    You're correct that these Microsoft services are already available for current Android phones. However, when you purchase any Android phone currently available, those services are not 'in your face' so to speak. Microsoft I believe, want people to buy these X devices so their services are almost literally spoon fed to you when you switch on the phone. This will always get some of those users to use your services even if they've never heard of them before.


    At MWC Elop did in fact state: "By using Microsoft's services, Nokia X becomes a feeder system for Lumia" (video at 31:55)

    I assume this is the source for the many articles proclaiming that Nokia X is (or should be) a stepping stone onto WP. I don't buy into the stepping stone argument any more than you do, but the CEO of Nokia has explicitly stated that the X range should benefit WP.
    Well spotted. Thanks for that. I wondered where some people were getting it from, I watched it live but didn't pick up on that particular bit then. I can only presume he believes that people using Microsoft services on those X phones + having an interface similar to WP, will eventually lead them onto WP. Hmmm, still not sure my self.


    My take:

    1. They don't believe the stepping stone argument themselves.
    2. MS could be in a position to undercut every last low-end Android OEM out there.
    3. I believe that the services angle plays a role, but Nokia isn't letting on to everything (the fact that all of MS' services are already on Android is just one indicator).

    If the Nokia X sells reasonably well and the app stores actually contain what people expect, I predict we will see mid-range Nokia X phones priced above the Lumia 520 within 9 months.
    Good points. The last point on it encroaching into the Lumia priced area, which would mean a half decent Android phone (not the real budget ones they've just announced) has me concerned a little bit. They're going to have to watch that line so they don't cross it. If they do, and you can pickup an X phone, running Android, that is either priced above a low end Lumia, or has higher specs than the low end Lumias, is where I can see major problems starting for WP.

    As you mentioned a bit above, they've said "the Nokia X's price point will always trend below that of WP". They're going to need to keep to that, otherwise WP is in danger of being swallowed up by some of the X range. At the moment, even though I'm still not keen on them doing Android in the first place, but I see how they have reasons to do it, I don't think it will affect WP as it is at the moment.

    The other thing what I think will happen and it has already been mentioned by some others, is that I can see the Asha line being retired. I would think it will end up being the basic Nokia 220 type models at the bottom end, then the X range phones, then the Lumia's. You quite rightly picked up on the licensing fees that Microsoft won't charge themselves for Android, so the X range is surely going to be cheaper and better than Asha (development costs for Asha and more apps on Android), so we may find that the Asha line might simply not be needed in the near future.
    02-26-2014 03:19 AM
  11. a5cent's Avatar
    Not that I'm disagreeing with you, but....Then what?
    <snipped>
    So what would be the end game? Forgo WP entirely for an X device? - the specs of the Lumia, with the ecosystem of Android? Lumia would get buried.?.
    I think the services angle is one reason for this device's existence. I don't think its purpose is to "build WP up" however, which is why we're flailing trying to explain it.

    I see this more as the mobile equivalent of a scorched earth policy: "if you can't control a market yourself, then at least deny your competition control over it." Of course you can't publicly admit to something like that, so these other explanations are what we were left with.

    • I think it's about adding more diversity to the Android ecosystem, precisely when Google is trying to reel that in, deliberately and significantly fragmenting the Android ecosystem further. It definitely makes it harder for Google to control what Android is and is not.
    • I think it's about forcing Google to compete with themselves. It definitely makes it harder for Google to service the AOSP market without simultaneously supporting a competitor.
    • I think it aims to keep non-Google Android a viable option despite Google's efforts to deemphasize it.
    • The AOSP market is by far the largest contributor to Android's overall market share growth. I think it's about lessening Google's ability to control where that fastest growing part of the Android market is headed, basically making it harder for Google to eventually convert all AOSP users to AOSP+GMS users.

    I think the above is just as important as the services angle, if not more so. I think Nokia/MS will do anything that serves those goals. If the Nokia X does reasonably well, then I can see Nokia/Microsoft rolling out this strategy in every market where AOSP devices do well. Russia is one such market, where consumers also have more disposable income, which is why I predicted that we'll also see a mid-range Nokia X headed their way. I'm not aware of any market that combines high-end device sales with predominant AOSP usage, otherwise I'd predict Nokia X hitting that price range as well.

    What the end game is I do not know. I suspect we'd need different plans depending on how both WP and Nokia X succeed or fail over the next two to three years..
    Last edited by a5cent; 02-26-2014 at 04:29 AM. Reason: Spelling
    02-26-2014 03:55 AM
  12. rockstarzzz's Avatar
    You're correct that these Microsoft services are already available for current Android phones. However, when you purchase any Android phone currently available, those services are not 'in your face' so to speak. Microsoft I believe, want people to buy these X devices so their services are almost literally spoon fed to you when you switch on the phone. This will always get some of those users to use your services even if they've never heard of them before.



    Well spotted. Thanks for that. I wondered where some people were getting it from, I watched it live but didn't pick up on that particular bit then. I can only presume he believes that people using Microsoft services on those X phones + having an interface similar to WP, will eventually lead them onto WP. Hmmm, still not sure my self.



    Good points. The last point on it encroaching into the Lumia priced area, which would mean a half decent Android phone (not the real budget ones they've just announced) has me concerned a little bit. They're going to have to watch that line so they don't cross it. If they do, and you can pickup an X phone, running Android, that is either priced above a low end Lumia, or has higher specs than the low end Lumias, is where I can see major problems starting for WP.

    As you mentioned a bit above, they've said "the Nokia X's price point will always trend below that of WP". They're going to need to keep to that, otherwise WP is in danger of being swallowed up by some of the X range. At the moment, even though I'm still not keen on them doing Android in the first place, but I see how they have reasons to do it, I don't think it will affect WP as it is at the moment.

    The other thing what I think will happen and it has already been mentioned by some others, is that I can see the Asha line being retired. I would think it will end up being the basic Nokia 220 type models at the bottom end, then the X range phones, then the Lumia's. You quite rightly picked up on the licensing fees that Microsoft won't charge themselves for Android, so the X range is surely going to be cheaper and better than Asha (development costs for Asha and more apps on Android), so we may find that the Asha line might simply not be needed in the near future.
    Okay, I'm just adding some context



    At MWC Elop did in fact state: "By using Microsoft's services, Nokia X becomes a feeder system for Lumia" (video at 31:55)

    I assume this is the source for the many articles proclaiming that Nokia X is (or should be) a stepping stone onto WP. I don't buy into the stepping stone argument any more than you do, but the CEO of Nokia has explicitly stated that the X range should benefit WP.

    Beyond that, Elop provided two other reasons for this device's existence:



    Elop did explicitly state that: "the Nokia X's price point will always trend below that of WP".

    However, all the usual suspects are focusing only on the bill of materials. Their argument is that the cost difference between a Snapdragon 200 based Lumia and a Snapdragon 200 based Nokia X is so small, that it in no way justifies the existence of a separate family of smartphones. That is probably true. Nevertheless, they are ignoring the costs for the OS. Whether MS factors those into the sales price is irrelevant, as those costs exist either way.

    The cost comparison to Android is a lot more interesting. MS is unlikely to take Nokia (themselves) to court over IP licensing, meaning they are truly the only OEM that gets AOSP for absolutely nothing. That is easily $5 right there. Compared to a fully licensed/certified Android device, the savings increase further. In the $60 price range, where these devices will soon be headed, and in countries where monthly take home pay is around $300, $6 or $7 is a lot of money. I suspect this allows MS to easily undercut the similarly spec'ed android competition, by an amount that is significant in developing nations.

    What would happen if MS became the Android OEM that could offer the best "bang for your buck" across all growth markets... (I'm not saying this will happen, I'm still sceptical about the "bang" part)



    Pretty much exactly what Elop said.

    For now, the above quotes (one paraphrased) represent the only official information we've got.

    My take:

    1. They don't believe the stepping stone argument themselves.
    2. MS could be in a position to undercut every last low-end Android OEM out there.
    3. I believe that the services angle plays a role, but Nokia isn't letting on to everything (the fact that all of MS' services are already on Android is just one indicator).

    If the Nokia X sells reasonably well and the app stores actually contain what people expect, I predict we will see mid-range Nokia X phones priced above the Lumia 520 within 9 months.
    I think I may have got the services story - if you start using your very first smartphone on Microsoft services, your emails start accumulating in Outlook, your docs are on Onedrive, your app back ups are saved on Onedrive, your game scores are saved on Xbox achievements and OneDrive, your docs were easy to create in Office and save on OneDrive - you may move to Android but still prefer using these services already available on Android. This will make users not use Google for anything other than YouTube and maybe still search when they go on Android.

    This way, Microsoft has anyone who comes from Phone X to Lumia (due to whatever their rubbish UI argument is - I am presuming such users do exist, a market survey would have indicated this strongly!) and Microsoft also has users on Android who use Microsoft services.

    Microsoft after all is devices (all the WPs) and services (even on Android and iOS) company. This may just be an angle by which they push more on services than devices.

    I am with you guys so far...but... if this is the case, why can people in emerging countries not spoon fed Microsoft services on a Windows Phone?
    You say it costs Nokia $5 for truly AOSP but if Microsoft was to not charge licensing anyway to Nokia, why not let them use Windows Phone 8.1 OS licensing fee free? It is as good as AOSP. If Nokia is anyway going to put an effort to make their own Nokia store for apps, why not let them have that Nokia apps collection on these devices on Windows Phone? This will be in addition to 200,000 apps already present in the store? Why use android if all you want to do is introduce your services? WP8.1 can be priced at lower than whatever the cheapest Lumia is going to cost. This will then be the real stepping stone, no?

    Was Microsoft just being difficult and greedy asking Nokia to pay for using WP8.1 instead? With 70% cut for ALL OEMs, is licensing fee still such a huge factor to choose Android over WP?
    02-26-2014 03:59 AM
  13. tgp's Avatar
    Good points. The last point on it encroaching into the Lumia priced area, which would mean a half decent Android phone (not the real budget ones they've just announced) has me concerned a little bit. They're going to have to watch that line so they don't cross it. If they do, and you can pickup an X phone, running Android, that is either priced above a low end Lumia, or has higher specs than the low end Lumias, is where I can see major problems starting for WP.

    As you mentioned a bit above, they've said "the Nokia X's price point will always trend below that of WP". They're going to need to keep to that, otherwise WP is in danger of being swallowed up by some of the X range. At the moment, even though I'm still not keen on them doing Android in the first place, but I see how they have reasons to do it, I don't think it will affect WP as it is at the moment.
    I'm trying to read between the lines here. What I'm seeing is that the Nokia X line will be good enough to compete with WP at similar price points. If Nokia X stays below WP's price points, there's no competition. A user will choose a device based on how much he's planning to spend. But if Nokia X goes upscale a bit, let's imagine a potential buyer has $200 to spend on a phone. If there's a choice of a WP device or Nokia X at that price point, WP will not be an obvious winner. Am I reading your thoughts correctly?
    02-26-2014 04:34 AM
  14. Nogitsune Micah's Avatar
    They are available on regular Google Android. But if a consumer buys Google Android they may opt to use Google's services instead. That greatly reduces the chance that they would want to upgrade to a WP later because they'd have to change all their services.
    pretty sure these phones will be able to be rooted(people say only a select group of people root...i see it as people seeing decent made hardware and buying it smartly then rooting) and thus remove the Microsoft branding on it. ...especially given the fact it can sideload apps.
    02-26-2014 04:43 AM
  15. a5cent's Avatar
    The other thing what I think will happen and it has already been mentioned by some others, is that I can see the Asha line being retired.
    Yes, I fully expect that too. I think anony_mouse explained it well in post #50.

    They've said "the Nokia X's price point will always trend below that of WP". They're going to need to keep to that, otherwise WP is in danger of being swallowed up by some of the X range.
    But why exactly? Not saying you are wrong, but I do think it deserves some looking into. How large is the subset of consumers that could not only afford a low-cost Lumia, but would have considered buying one only if the hypothetical mid-range Nokia X didn't exist?

    It's hard to explain who exactly fits into that group of consumers. It's even harder to argue that the size of that group is significant, if for no other reason than the number of people that would consider a Lumia is already relatively small, at least compared to the size of the overall smartphone market.

    I suspect that for the most part, anyone preferring a Nokia X over a Lumia would likely also prefer any one of the other low-cost Android devices over a Lumia. I don't think there is a lot of cross shopping between OS', so the biggest threat to WP's success is its inability to grab market share away from Android in general. I doubt that any specific Android device significantly changes that dynamic.
    Last edited by a5cent; 02-26-2014 at 05:55 AM.
    anony_mouse likes this.
    02-26-2014 04:56 AM
  16. anony_mouse's Avatar
    It will be interesting to see what happens if the Nokia X line sells well. If it does, it would make sense to extend it, including higher spec devices. Microsoft (who will be making the decisions by this point) will face a dilemma - X might well cannibalise the market for WP, but promote MS's services. How much do they make from a user of their services? I logged on to outlook.com just now and was shown no adverts (apart from ads for outlook.com functions), and it's even harder to put adverts in a mail app on a smart phone. I assume MS make no money whatsoever from my use of outlook.com - and as far as I can tell it's the same for OneDrive (unless they mine my data and sell the results). Bing has some income, of course. Does anyone have any idea on the average revenue per user for MS's services? Will they ever be self-financing, or are they primarily a means to get people to buy Microsoft products such as WP, Nokia/Android, etc?

    Of course, Microsoft will soon be directly in the business of making and selling smart phones. The X range will make a profit if it does well, and I think that is the main reason that they do it. Yes, you can make a story about how it will feed into WP, but in a sense I don't see that it matters so much to Microsoft. They can make a profit from the phones whether they are WP or Android. At a first glance, it might seem that they get more for a WP device, as there is a software licence rumoured to be in the low USD 10s, but they can also add a similar fee to the Android devices if they think the market will bear it, and if they do make higher end Android phones, these will anyway have a higher margin.
    02-26-2014 05:09 AM
  17. rockstarzzz's Avatar
    pretty sure these phones will be able to be rooted(people say only a select group of people root...i see it as people seeing decent made hardware and buying it smartly then rooting) and thus remove the Microsoft branding on it. ...especially given the fact it can sideload apps.
    Go back in the past and imagine you just jumping from a feature phone that could only text and call, then buying a smartphone. Did you know about "root"? Did you attempt to root? I know I didn't. It wasn't until my 3rd smartphone that I tried to become a super user and try to see what was beyond what the phone had come with. Why? Because my mentality as a smartphone user made me think, the phone works as it comes.

    I am sure 95% of these X phone users, won't know, feel willing or feel compelled to root or sideload. This may be moot point to them. They would rather get a real Android phone where apps are just there instead of side loading anything!
    02-26-2014 05:16 AM
  18. a5cent's Avatar
    Does anyone have any idea on the average revenue per user for MS's services? Will they ever be self-financing, or are they primarily a means to get people to buy Microsoft products such as WP, Nokia/Android, etc?
    I don't know, and like you said, how much each service earns varies depending on the service. What we do know is that Office 365 is the only service that earns MS money. All other services are massive money losers, particularly Bing.

    With 70% cut for ALL OEMs, is licensing fee still such a huge factor to choose Android over WP?
    That 70% cut was for Windows only. It doesn't affect WP.

    but if Microsoft was to not charge licensing anyway to Nokia, why not let them use Windows Phone 8.1 OS licensing fee free?
    <snipped>
    WP8.1 can be priced at lower than whatever the cheapest Lumia is going to cost. This will then be the real stepping stone, no?
    If MS gave WP away for free, the upcoming low-end WP8.1 devices probably could get very close to the cost of a Nokia X. The problem still remains however, that not enough people are looking to buy WP devices. Most people buy what their friends have, and Android has reached the critical mass where it becomes self-selling. Also, most people want access to the same apps that they see other people use. Overcoming that is extremely difficult, but that is where WP stands right now. At this point, even giving WP away for free isn't enough.

    Why use android if all you want to do is introduce your services?
    Well, there is the "in your face" argument, related to putting these services front and centre rather than requiring customers to deliberately seek them out in the app store. However, like I said in post #61, using Android is not just about introducing services. I'm just speculating about the other reasons, but there is definitely more too it than just the services angle.
    02-26-2014 05:44 AM
  19. dznk's Avatar
    I am with you guys so far...but... if this is the case, why can people in emerging countries not spoon fed Microsoft services on a Windows Phone?
    You say it costs Nokia $5 for truly AOSP but if Microsoft was to not charge licensing anyway to Nokia, why not let them use Windows Phone 8.1 OS licensing fee free? It is as good as AOSP. If Nokia is anyway going to put an effort to make their own Nokia store for apps, why not let them have that Nokia apps collection on these devices on Windows Phone? This will be in addition to 200,000 apps already present in the store? Why use android if all you want to do is introduce your services? WP8.1 can be priced at lower than whatever the cheapest Lumia is going to cost. This will then be the real stepping stone, no?
    That was my first thought. Personally, this is the route I'd have preferred them to take. Considering WP is still rising, especially in some 'emerging markets', this is quite a bold move by them to release this X range. They might well have a cunning plan with this X range, but people will naturally have many questions about it and how it's going to work (or not work).

    I think Nokia/Microsoft believe they are not 'spoon feeding' enough people on the WP platform currently, and they probably see the gap between WP and Android is still massive in terms of usage numbers, so they want a piece of the Android pie. They can get more people using their services if they sell a device at a lower price along with the fact that it 'runs on Android' (that appeals to some people) and runs more apps. If it was just a cost thing, surely, like you said, they can make Lumia's lower cost than the 520. In fact Microsoft is specifically making WP better for OEM's and supposedly supporting lower hardware requirements. Shame they didn't wait until the latter part of the year to do this in a way (or not at all). They obviously think they need to make a move now.


    I'm trying to read between the lines here. What I'm seeing is that the Nokia X line will be good enough to compete with WP at similar price points. If Nokia X stays below WP's price points, there's no competition. A user will choose a device based on how much he's planning to spend. But if Nokia X goes upscale a bit, let's imagine a potential buyer has $200 to spend on a phone. If there's a choice of a WP device or Nokia X at that price point, WP will not be an obvious winner. Am I reading your thoughts correctly?
    Yep, pretty much. I wouldn't say that with it being currently below, there's no competition, but on the whole I wouldn't think these new phones will disrupt Lumia's much at all. If a Lumia and an X is priced very similarly though (within just a few dollars for example) then that's when I can see some people choosing one and some people choosing another. At the same price, the Android one may well be more attractive to some people (not me personally though). Whether it will ever work out like this though, I don't know. But I think the more it creeps up into the Lumia's price range and specs, the more it threatens Lumia's and WP itself. There needs to be that distinct price gap between the two at all times.

    Elop actually said the X's will always be priced below the Lumia range. So basically, what I'm saying is that if this is true and there is a clear price difference, people should see the X as an inferior product, but price it in the same range as WP and I think the products could be viewed on equal terms by some people and the Android part may just sway them from the Lumia.
    tgp likes this.
    02-26-2014 05:49 AM
  20. dznk's Avatar
    But why exactly? Not saying you are wrong, but I do think it deserves some looking into. How large is the subset of consumers that could not only afford a low-cost Lumia, but would have considered buying one only if the hypothetical mid-range Nokia X didn't exist?

    It's hard to explain who exactly fits into that group of consumers. It's even harder to argue that the size of that group is significant, if for no other reason than the number of people that would consider a Lumia is already relatively small, at least compared to the size of the overall smartphone market.

    I suspect that for the most part, anyone preferring a Nokia X over a Lumia would likely also prefer any one of the other low-cost Android devices over a Lumia. I don't think there is a lot of cross shopping between OS', so the biggest threat to WP's success is its inability to grab market share away from Android in general. I doubt that any specific Android device significantly changes that dynamic.
    My sentence "They've said "the Nokia X's price point will always trend below that of WP." They're going to need to keep to that, otherwise WP is in danger of being swallowed up by some of the X range." is a little dramatic actually, I must admit. I should have worded it a bit different. I briefly explain my thought on this here for tgp.

    I don't expect the X range even if priced the same, to gobble up all of WP. I do believe it could take a nice chunk of WP's potential sales though. My thoughts are that if you have a same branded device, at the same price, but one runs a platform that is much more popular in terms of global usage, that product will probably sell over the Lumia, if a person is considering "getting a Nokia" or maybe even getting a phone just at that price point. As you pointed out though, there is more to that, and that doesn't represent everyones thinking when purchasing. I'm probably being a bit pessimistic on this one!
    02-26-2014 06:08 AM
  21. anony_mouse's Avatar
    If MS gave WP away for free, the upcoming low-end WP8.1 devices probably could get very close to the cost of a Nokia X. The problem still remains however, that not enough people are looking to buy WP devices. Most people buy what their friends have, and Android has reached the critical mass where it becomes self-selling. Also, most people want access to the same apps that they see other people use. Overcoming that is extremely difficult, but that is where WP stands right now. At this point, even giving WP away for free isn't enough.
    Thinking about this...
    - If WP is so repellent so users (I'm not saying it is, but following the logic), is it better to just scrap it and use NokiaAndroid across the whole range?
    - Will people see the Nokia X as an Android phone? It's not going to have the Android logo, and I assume it won't/can't be officially promoted as Android (TBC). Or will they see it as a Nokia phone running some unspecified non-WP OS, which most users won't care about one way or the other.
    - Regarding apps - Nokia X will not immediately have access to a large number of apps. Nokia will still have to persuade developers to port their apps (if necessary) and submit them to the NokiaAndroid app store. It will take some time to match the 200,000 apps in the WP store, and the usual chicken and egg problem will apply. How many Android apps are available for Blackberry?
    - Given the above, it would be interesting to know why Nokia/MS didn't cut the price of WP to make it feasible to use on very low cost devices. Is there a fundamental technical reason why WP won't run on hardware similar to the Nokia X (I doubt it)?
    02-26-2014 06:11 AM
  22. a5cent's Avatar
    Elop actually said the X's will always be priced below the Lumia range. So basically, what I'm saying is that if this is true and there is a clear price difference, people should see the X as an inferior product, but price it in the same range as WP and I think the products could be viewed on equal terms by some people and the Android part may just sway them from the Lumia.
    a)
    Elop said "the price of the Nokia X will trend below that of Lumia." With that, Elop has given us a general price bracket, but that isn't the same as saying all Nokia X devices will be cheaper than the cheapest Lumia.

    b)
    If the Android part of the Nokia X could sway a potential customer away from a Lumia, couldn't any one of the other gazillion low cost Android handsets do the same? I could be wrong, but I'm very sceptical this type of OS agnostic cross shopping occurs in significant numbers.

    Edit:
    Just saw your last post. I agree that the Nokia branding is the only thing that could cause Lumia to lose a sale to the Nokia X, that it otherwise wouldn't have lost to another Android device. What I'd love to see market research on is how big that group is expected to be... it's anyone's guess. You seem to guess at a larger number than I do ;-)
    Last edited by a5cent; 02-26-2014 at 06:28 AM.
    02-26-2014 06:17 AM
  23. ShreyansShah's Avatar
    i have gone through this thread, but not deeply.
    i want some clarification (and if my understanding is clear, then appreciation):
    1. firstly, MSFT do receives royalties on every Android devices sold, due to patents, thus MSFT never against droids.
    2. even though Nokia X is not to be considered an droid device, still all these apps can be installed on it (downloading and installing in device directly)
    3. its a win - win situation for Nokia (MSFT after a while) as people shall choose either Lumia or X, but both Nokia. (I m from India, and in India Nokia was dominant till Samsung introduced android range)
    4. Samsung itself is leaving Android, so Android is remaining with other OEMs (out of which, 9 OEMs are also planning for WP devices as per a news wired day before)
    5. so we can say that, Nokia is taking revenge on Android about what they did to Symbian, a sudden death.
    02-26-2014 06:17 AM
  24. a5cent's Avatar
    1. firstly, MSFT do receives royalties on every Android devices sold, due to patents, thus MSFT never against droids.
    The royalties MS earns on Android are peanuts compared to what companies expect to earn from the smartphone market. The royalties do add up to over a billion dollars, but Google and iOS earn more than that just from their app stores. Furthermore, Android gives MS absolutely no control over the mobile market.

    Microsoft would get rid of Android in a heartbeat if they could.

    2. even though Nokia X is not to be considered an droid device, still all these apps can be installed on it (downloading and installing in device directly)
    Yes. At no point did Elop ever call the Nokia X an Android device. It is a Nokia phone that can run Android apps. It would actually have been illegal for Elop to call it an Android device, because only fully certified Android devices running AOSP+GMS may be marketed as such.

    . Samsung itself is leaving Android, so Android is remaining with other OEMs (out of which, 9 OEMs are also planning for WP devices as per a news wired day before)
    Definitely not. The opposite actually, as Samsung is now more closely aligned with Google's vision for Android than ever.

    So we can say that, Nokia is taking revenge on Android about what they did to Symbian, a sudden death.
    No. It's called competition. Not revenge.
    Last edited by a5cent; 02-26-2014 at 06:58 AM. Reason: Spelling
    02-26-2014 06:35 AM
  25. anony_mouse's Avatar
    4. Samsung itself is leaving Android, so Android is remaining with other OEMs (out of which, 9 OEMs are also planning for WP devices as per a news wired day before)
    Does anyone have any evidence that Samsung will abandon Android? Wouldn't that be suicidal?

    5. so we can say that, Nokia is taking revenge on Android about what they did to Symbian, a sudden death.
    Revenge is not a sound basis for making business decisions.
    02-26-2014 06:39 AM
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