As an experiment, Nokia’s X series married Nokia’s hardware to the ease of Android in an attempt to catch up sales in the highly lucrative low-tier mobile devices segment. The success or failure of the program aside, Nokia will be moving away from Android and focus on Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform by allowing “select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows [Phone].” The quote is directly taken from an email sent out by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to all Microsoft (and now also Nokia) employees today morning, which is in stark contrast to the claim by Nokia’s ex-CEO, Stephen Elop.
In this expected though still surprising move, Nadella aims to make Microsoft more agile and competitive in a market segment that has eluded their dominance for quite some time now. Microsoft has announced to reduce their workforce by 18000 employees over the course of this year. The email clarifies that this exercise is aimed at strategically aligning the Nokia acquisition with Microsoft’s strategy. As a result, a majority of these layoffs will be done in the Nokia devices segment – 12500 to be exact. With such a major focus on trying to gain ground in the mobile devices arena, it is expected that Microsoft would like to move away from their rival – Google’s Android – platform to their own offerings – Windows Phone.
In his email, Nadella states that “[i]n addition, we plan to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows. This builds on our success in the affordable smartphone space and aligns with our focus on Windows Universal Apps.” That is the only information shared on this aspect, with more clarity expected during Nadella’s Q&A session with employees (provided the leaks come out before any official announcement). Going by the email’s verbiage, it could be possible that the Nokia X line would be converted into low-tier or entry-level Lumia with the hardware being rebranded. Another possibility could be the Nokia X line getting discontinued and instead a new line of low-tier Lumia devices could get started. As of yet, this is mere speculation and we would definitely keep our ears open for any further news on this change. What’s your take on this change? Do let us know in the comments below.