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Nokia says X phones made to transition feature phone users and will not appear in North America

News by Andrew Kameka on Tuesday February 25, 2014.

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Nokia X
Nokia X

On the off chance that consumers in United States or Canada seriously considered purchasing one of the low-cost Nokia X Android smartphones announced yesterday, Nokia has confirmed those people need not waste their time because the phone will not be officially sold in North America. (Ed note: Nokia says "North America" but confirms plans to sell the X phones in Mexico, so the company is really just using the term to mean the US and Canada, not the entire region.)

The Nokia X, X+, and XL Android devices target a very specific customer in emerging markets. Customers in the United States and Canada do not fit that billing according to Jussi Nevanlinna, vice president of Mobile Phone marketing at Nokia. Addressing the issue of target audience, Nevalinna today stated:

"These are global products, which will be available pretty much everywhere except North America, Korea and Japan. We have a particular focus on growth markets - for example, India and China, Thailand and Indonesia then over to Egypt, Kenya and Nigeria, and South America, especially countries like Brazil, and Mexico. They are all places where we?re seeing this big shift from feature phones to affordable smartphones."

The Nokia X phones were created to transition Nokia's Asha featurephone users to entry level smartphones. The company recognized that its customers were outgrowing the limitations of feature phones but were quite ready to spend the money on an iPhone or Galaxy S just yet, so it was important that Nokia try to be that option for their starter phone. The Lumia 500 series had previously occupied that position but the company chose to embrace Android as a way to offer coveted apps. Nevanlinna suggests that this is a "natural pathway to Lumia" because someone might enjoy the Windows Phone-like UI on a Nokia X and eventually choose a high-end Lumia when they eventually transition to a better phone. It's a strange transition, especially in light of Microsoft's impending takeover of Nokia's device unit, but it's the path Nokia has chosen in what may be its final act as an independent smartphone maker.

source: Nokia

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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