Nokia launches Android ‘x’ phone in India:

Finnish phone giant Nokia launched its highly anticipated Android “X”-based smartphone in India for Rs 8,599 on Monday, aiming to protect its turf in the fiercely competitive market.

The company had announced the ”Nokia X” family of affordable smartphones, which run Google’s Android applications, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month.

The company had said then that Nokia X+ was expected to be priced at €99 (around Rs 8,400), Nokia XL at €109 (around Rs 9,200) and Nokia X at €89 (around Rs 7,500). Nokia said it will bring the other two devices, X+ and XL, to the Indian market in the next two months.

“India is one of the fastest growing markets for smartphones in the world. With the launch of Nokia X, we are adding more ammunition to our smartphone portfolio. We believe Nokia X is a unique combination of quality and experiences from Nokia, Microsoft services and Android apps,” Nokia India CEO P Balaji told PTI.

India is the third largest market for smartphones. IDC data showed that smartphone sales in the country topped 44 million units in 2013, up from 16.2 million in 2012.

The increase has been mainly driven by local vendors such as Micromax, Karbonn and Lava, which offer smartphones for as little as Rs 3,000.

In addition, IDC attributed the migration of users from feature phones to smartphones primarily to narrowing price differences between these product categories. When asked if the phone will affect business for its Asha range of affordable smartphones, Balaji replied in the negative.

“Asha, Nokia X and the Lumia range are three separate offerings. While the price of each of these will come down over time, they have their own set of features that offer value to a particular set of people,” he added.

Calling the Nokia X a “feeder” for its Lumia range of premium smartphones, Balaji said the device will help users experience Microsoft services like Skype and Outlook before they opt for Lumia devices.

Currently, the 520 is the cheapest phone in the Lumia series. It is available for around Rs 9,999 (reseller price) and Rs 7,600 (e-commerce sites).

The Nokia X dual SIM is a 4-inch device, powered by a 1GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. It features a tile-based design, 512MB RAM (up to 32GB expandable memory), 3MP camera and 1500 mAH battery.

The Nokia X is based on the open Android platform.

Although Nokia X users will not have access to the Google application market “Google Play”, they can download Android applications from third-party application stores, as well as the Microsoft application store.

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