Microsoft has unveiled its first ever Android smartphone, the Nokia X2, continuing the firm's strategy to push Windows services in emerging markets using Google's platform.
Microsoft unveiled the Nokia X2 on Tuesday, listing it as a key step in its bid to "connect the next billion people" to the internet. The Nokia X2 is an affordable handset that will cost a modest €99.
Like previous Nokia X devices the Nokia X2 runs using a heavily customised version of Android that replaces the operating system's innate Google services with Microsoft's. The hybrid operating system in theory means users can enjoy Android's larger application offering while being primarily embedded in Microsoft's ecosystem.
Ex-Nokia CEO turned Microsoft Devices Group executive vice president Stephen Elop said he expected the strategy to win over millions of new customers, who would otherwise have gone to Google, at the unveiling of the first Nokia X devices at Mobile World Congress in February.
Many industry commentators had expected Microsoft to drop the X brand and force Nokia, now rechristened Microsoft Mobile, to purely develop phones using the firm's Windows Phone operating system.
Microsoft Devices Group head of Mobile Phones Timo Toikkanen indicated that Microsoft's decision to keep the brand is due to the success of early Nokia X devices in emerging markets.
"The Nokia X family is going from strength to strength, with the Nokia X smartphone achieving top-selling status in Pakistan, Russia, Kenya and Nigeria, while earning the third-best-selling smartphone spot in India," he said.
"The Nokia X2 elevates the Nokia X experience with a stellar new design, ease of use and new Microsoft experiences. We're proud to continue to bring smartphone innovation to lower and lower price points."
In terms of specifications the Nokia X2 is very low end and features a basic 4.3in WGVA ClearBlack display and 5MP rear camera with auto-focus and flash. The Nokia X will also be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, featuring a dual-core 1.2GHz CPU and 1GB of RAM.
Microsoft plans to release the Nokia X2 at an unspecified point in July. It is currently unclear if the Nokia X2 will be released in the UK and at the time of publishing Microsoft had not responded to V3's request for comment.
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