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back to article Nokia launches Euro ANDROID invasion, quips: 'Microsoft knew what they were buying'

Microsoft was aware of Nokia's plans to release a range of Android phones, the man in charge of the new range told us today. And the new Nokiadroids - of which there are more than anyone predicted - will be coming to the UK - possibly sooner than anyone realises. Timo Toikkanen, Executive Vice President of Nokia Mobile Phones …

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Happy

Never mind that!

Can I wipe it and put a Proper Linux on there?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Never mind that!

You mean that GUI that runs like crap and is difficult to use even on a desktop machine?

Android succeeded because it isn't KDE or Gnome bodged to work on a phone.

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Facepalm

Re: Never mind that!

Whoooooosh!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: that (linux) GUI that runs like crap ...

GUI? No, I think you'll find we were referring to a CLI-only version of linux. Or one based on twm :-)

Or there's always Opie, which is at least functional enough, if not swipe/pinch aware as we modern types would like.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Never mind that!

Never mind that - can I wipe it and put iOS on there?

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This post has been deleted by its author

Re: Never mind that - the BIIIG point is...

will you be able to replace the launcher??? (before you moan, I have no clue, roight?????)

The BIG thing no-one is saying about cheap android tablets, is the launcher is the MOST basic... :(

- Put 'go launcher' on, it becomes at least usable... :P

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Never mind that!

You will probably be able to upgrade it to Windows Phone soon enough...

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Joke

Re: Never mind that!

Can I wipe it and put Symbian on there?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Never mind that!

"You mean that GUI that runs like crap and is difficult to use"

I thought these already shipped with Android?

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Re: Never mind that!

You mean that GUI that runs like crap and is difficult to use even on a desktop machine?

Android succeeded because it isn't KDE or Gnome bodged to work on a phone

Only an utter fool would try to make KDE or Gnome work on a mobile device with a touchscreen. There are MUCH better DEs (or, in some cases, just WMs) out there for that particular application. TWM wouldn't be a terrible option, but I think you could get better yet. Mind you I'm just going off the top of my head. I looked, briefly, at putting Debian on a phone once and decided it would be more effort than it was worth. And I wasn't even planning on still using it as a phone.

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Nokia by itself maybe ...

but with the smell of Microsoft (including an NSA fragrance), the answer has to be 'no'. A shame, since I liked the Nokias that I had.

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Re: Nokia by itself maybe ...

> but with the smell of Microsoft (including an NSA fragrance), the answer has to be 'no'. A shame, since I liked the Nokias that I had.

Better hold on tight to that featurephone then.

Your alternatives are Apple (part of PRISM), Microsoft (Part of PRISM), Google (Part of PRISM and massive data-thief in their own right) or dumbphone.

Or the new Blackphone, which I am surprised to note that the Reg appears to be ignoring.

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Great opportunity for Cyanogenmod

It will be interesting to see if the drivers are open enough to support Cyanogenmod. Then we will finally get what a lot of people have missed, Nokia hardware with Android on, real Android that is.

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Windows

It looks like Europe is part of the poor countries emerging markets growth markets after all…

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SIM

I haven't seen any analysis on the fact at least one of these new phones has dual SIM's. This is big thing in some countries and I don't think WinPho supports dual SIMs.

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Re: SIM

I don't think WinPho supports dual SIMs.

According to El Reg support for dual-SIMs is coming in 8.1

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Re: SIM

I don't think WinPho supports dual SIMs.

It's about to, Microsoft have just announced.

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Happy

Any specs? Release date?

About bloody time. Or will it be too little, too late?

They really need to bring out a killer piece of kit, like the Moto G, at sub £100 to stand a chance.

It's a shame really. From 1996 to 2010 I only ever had Nokia phones, and they were all great at being phones. My trusty 6310i still comes out of retirement when I go fishing, purely for its brilliant reception. None of my smartphones have ever had a sniff of a signal at my favourite fishing spot...

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Re: Any specs? Release date?

From USA Today:

The Nokia X, boasts a 4-inch IPS capacitive display and 3 megapixel camera. It includes 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage, which can be expanded with a microSD card.

The Nokia X+ is almost identical to the X but comes with more storage and memory by including a 4GB microSD card and 768MB of RAM.

The Nokia XL boasts a 5-inch display with a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, 768MB of RAM and a 5-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and flash. Like the X+, it too comes with a 4GB microSD card.

Nokia X, X+ and XL – priced at €89 ($122), €99 ($136) and €109 ($149) respectively. Availability is immediate.

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Sideloading and Rooting

This marls an interesting and obviously controversial tangent for Nokia, but I think its a good thing, particularly for the lower end of the market. My concern is that their 'apk' store will be as mediocre as many others that try to compete with the play store, to limited success. I'll watch with interest as to whether the play store can be easily side-loaded, and also if rooting and romming become an option. It'll be nice to have a cheap, but quality brand in the Android space to compete with the Asian megacorps and no-name outfits trying to float their elcheapo turds at this end of the market, but only if a full range of apps is available.

I also fear that Microsoft will kill or sell the X range all too quickly once their feet are properly under the table at Espoo.

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Re: Sideloading and Rooting

Unlikely that play can be load at all, since they haven't paid google. But so long as they make it compatible with, say, the Amazon one, they can't go too far wrong.

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Re: Sideloading and Rooting

Well, from what I've read in a different article, seems like Nokia's Androids will be different enough from stock that Android apps aren't guaranteed to run without a recompile, since many of Google's APIs won't be present.

In other words, it's an Android, but one that intentionally breaks compatibility with other Android devices and apps.

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this would actually save Microsoft money in the long run

Nokia could save on the costs of development of the WP OS over the long run. And it doesn't appear that Microsoft is willing to put the money into their WP OS to create an ecosystem whatsoever.

I've had a Nokia WP (7.5) for over a year now, and when I first got it the thing seemed really promising... with the assumption that over time there would be improvements to the OS and that something, anything, would be done to the App Store (or Marketplace, whatever it is called.)

But now a year and a half later the app store is still crap. Windows Phone is completely ignored/overlooked by all of the major app creators.

Honestly there are some things that the phone does really well, but then the majority of the time it seems like it has been completely abandoned.

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Re: this would actually save Microsoft money in the long run

"Honestly there are some things that the phone does really well, but then the majority of the time it seems like it has been completely abandoned".

I have a Lumia 920 (WP8) and my wife has my "old" 900 (WP7). There have been barely any app updates for her, she wants to like the phone but once its renewal time she is probably going with android or iPhone because she wants to make sure she can use a fitbit and there does not seem to be a native WP app for it.

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Makes no sense at all. If they are going to make cheaper phones, then make them with the Windows Phone OS. Now you have cheaper Nokias running Android and the question will be being asked, why don't the expensive ones running Android too?

Microsoft would do well to ditch Windows Phone and put their work into making an excellent Android device - I suspect having a slice of the massive Android pie will be better than having the tiny Windows pie to themselves.

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"Microsoft would do well to ditch Windows Phone and put their work into making an excellent Android device - I suspect having a slice of the massive Android pie will be better than having the tiny Windows pie to themselves."

Exactly this. But when you've ditched multiple platforms already, just to go to MS WP, and fail miserably, you need a bit of an interim situation where you have 2 platforms, the new one everyone wants, and the old one which is your core strategy, all of this for ... reasons.

Then, the corporate language will evolve, during the coming year, to converge to Android only, and WP being, you known, legacy ...

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> Microsoft would do well to ditch Windows Phone and put their work into making an excellent Android device - I suspect having a slice of the massive Android pie will be better than having the tiny Windows pie to themselves.

While I think that would be a good thing, it would not be be good for Microsoft. MS already have a history of dumped mobile platforms: WM6.x, Kin, WP7. If they dump WP8 then they will lose all credibility in mobile. People may buy Nokia Androids and not care too much, but only if they are cheap enough. Then, just like other cheap Androids, they will not spend money on apps and MS services. They will not 'invest' in it because it may become another dumped product.

The OEMs, those making the other 10% of WP phones, would also defect. They are more likely to make real Androids than MS nearly-Androids (unless they too are bunged a $billion). Then they may try Android other things or even ChromeOS and Linux.

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Quite

MS have excellent resources. Instead of reinventing the wheel, and only coming up with something meh, they could add their efforts to Android or whatever... and make something that people would actually queue up to buy.

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Anonymous Coward

"Microsoft would do well to ditch Windows Phone and put their work into making an excellent Android device"

That seems unlikely - Microsoft have a substantially more secure, efficient and powerful OS than Android in Windows Phone. This gives them significant advantage in the corporate world which is one of Microsoft's key targets...

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Anonymous Coward

"While I think that would be a good thing, it would not be be good for Microsoft."

That's a win-win situation then!

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Re: Quite

> they could add their efforts to Android or whatever... and make something that people would actually queue up to buy.

People seem to be 'queuing up to buy' Android _because_ Microsoft can't 'add their efforts' to it.

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Don't worry Richard...

"I" saw what you did there.

:o)

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Here maps for Android?

I wonder if there's any chance they'll produce a Here maps for (generic) Android. The ability to get mapping and routing without a data connection is something Google maps is sadly missing, and most (all?) of the decent full-blown satnav replacements are too expensive for my infrequent usage requirements.

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Re: Here maps for Android?

navfree has decent maps (from openstreetmap.org) and can be made to work on even my quite feeble small form-factor droid although it is by no means slick and the ui is a little odd.

The permissions, as is becoming sadly commonplace for android apps, are absurd: it wants to read my contacts list? Will that help it work out where I am?

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Angel

Ballmet is effing brilliant.

Hehehe. Microsoft has pulled one on Google.

Google will have to keep working on Androids lower levels, Microsoft was already making money on the patents, and now Microsoft will replace the high end Googly bits with the stuff that is on WP too.

Essentially, Microsoft is still reaping the benefits of owning a closed source OS, but with somebody else paying for the stuff OEM's won't buy from Microsoft anymore.

If Ballmer planned this, he's brilliant. If he planted Elop in Nokia to make this work, he's out of this world.

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Devil

Re: Ballmet is effing brilliant.

Or maybe it's damage control:

Knowing that Nokia is headed, at least in part, towards Android, and will bring unwelcome comparison and competition to WP, Microsoft had to buy Nokia to control the future, to kill Android on the Nokia platform.

Just my jaundiced view of the whole saga.

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Anonymous Coward

Hopefully the phones will fail big time and then all the "should have gone Android" commentards will STFU.

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Well how much worse could it get for Nokia - look at a sales chart over the last 5 years.

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Hopefully the phones will fail big time and then all the "should have gone Android" commentards will STFU.

Trouble is, this isn't the kind of Android they were referring to, so even if these Nokia Forked Android phones fall it still doesn't answer the question of what would have happened had Nokia launched "true" Google Android devices.

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But these aren't *real* android, since they can't access the Google Play app store.

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And they are really terrible, terrible phones. Some sites already have hands on reviews. Super slow, super laggy. These phones are made to make WInphone look good.

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

They're not laggy. If you're used to a Galaxy 4 or an iPhone 5, then you won't be looking at one of these. If you're used to an Asha or a $70 landfill Android, then this is a step up.

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Happy

The question...

"still doesn't answer the question of what would have happened had Nokia launched "true" Google Android devices."

Easy - you would have had your every move monitored, read and profiled by Google.

Not to say that the same won't happen with Nokia and Microsoft, but I feel a lot more confident about not having my emails read by them.

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> They're not laggy.

Not yet. Put some apps on them. Every bloody Android starts to lag once you've installed some stuff on it.

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Agreed.

It takes about 3 minutes (you read that right) to open the facebook app on a Nokia Asha 503.

It even lags opening fastlane. Talk about unfortunate.

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Re:"should have gone Android"

That's "should have gone Android" two or three years ago - you can't expect it will have the same impact now.

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FAIL

@ Andrew Orlovski

But what is the advantage of one of these "reduced" Androids, if you and I can buy a bloat free Moto G quad core "proper" Android with a gig of RAM for the same price?

The Nokia badge?

Sorry, but they really need to OUTDO current, as you call them, "landfill Androids" to win in this cut-throat business.

Don't get me wrong, I was a BIG fan of Nokia, but they really backed the wrong horse in Microsoft.

Orlovski FAIL.

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Anonymous Coward

Windows Phone - This years HD-DVD

Ahh, I remember fondly when plebs everywhere were proclaiming how superior HD-DVD was ( because Microsoft and Toshiba told them so) and every know it was tanking. This is where Windows Phone is today, standing on the edge of that giant pit...

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