Nokia launches new ‘X’ line of low-cost Android handsets

Nokia launches new ‘X’ line of low-cost Android handsets

At the 2014 Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday, Finnish handset maker Nokia unveiled a new family of Android-based handsets --- the low-cost 'X' line which comprises Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL smartphones.

The launch of the X line of handsets by Nokia marks a massive turnaround of sorts for the company which is selling its handset business to Microsoft, and has been one of the most prominent backers of Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile operating system.

The new X family of smartphones launched by Nokia will be powered by a fork of Google's Android OS - the new Android Open Source Project (AOSP); and will come pre-installed with a number of Microsoft services.

However, with Microsoft likely to close its 47.4 billion acquisition of Nokia's handset business later this quarter, analysts are not too sure whether or not Microsoft will hold on to the AOSP-powered new Nokia X line of handsets. That decision will have to be taken by Microsoft once it closes the Nokia acquisition deal.

Explaining Microsoft's current position with regard to Nokia's move of launching new Android-based handsets, Frank Shaw - Microsoft's head of corporate communications - said: "Our transaction with Nokia has not yet closed. We operate as two independent companies as required by antitrust law, and we will until the acquisition is complete."