MWC 2014: Nokia steps up pressure on rivals with 5 new budget smartphones

At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2014, Nokia introduced five new budget handsets, including Nokia X smartphones that run Android apps and Microsoft services.

The Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL will feature Microsoft services like Skype, OneDrive and outlook.

The Nokia Asha 230, announced today at MWC 2014, is Nokia’s most affordable full-touch Asha device to date, priced at EUR 45.

The Nokia 220 is an Internet-ready mobile phone with social apps, priced at only EUR 29.

Stephen Elop, executive vice president of Nokia’s Devices & Services, said: “Our deliberate approach is to offer four tiers of products including our affordable entry-level devices like the new Nokia 220; our entry-level Asha touch phones like the new Nokia Asha 230; our new Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL smartphones primarily for growth economies.”

Nokia-X-X+-and-XL

Tony Cripps, principal analyst, at Ovum, said: “It’s too early to call the launch of Nokia X a game changer. However, it definitely shakes up an industry that has become fixated on incremental advances and smart accessories as growth drivers of hardware sales, largely at the expense of further ecosystem development.”

Ovum said Nokia’s strength in developing markets will be a major catalyst for sales of Nokia X, which brings a level of design and build quality to the low-price smartphone segment that is largely lacking today. Other OEMs will be forced to up their game in this key market segment.

The Nokia X will go on sale immediately, starting at EUR 89 and rolling-out in Asia-Pacific, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. The Nokia X+ and Nokia XL are expected to roll out in these markets starting early second quarter, priced at EUR 99 and EUR 109, respectively.

According to Ovum, this announcement presents some attractive opportunities for communications service providers and developers. The new Nokia X smartphones offer a desirable alternative to cheap Android devices for consumers in both mature and developing markets and will help provide balance within carrier device portfolios at both the OEM and software platform level.

editor@telecomlead.com