Nokia holds public launch for Android smartphone

Posted at 03/30/14 8:39 PM

Guests get a hands-on experience on the new Nokia X smartphone. Photo by Vladimir Bunoan, ABS-CBNnews.com

MANILA -- Nokia Philippines on Saturday showed off the new Nokia X smartphones powered by Google’s Android operating system during its public launch at the SM By the Bay.

The new smartphones use an Android open-source platform but are equipped with Nokia's own Lumia user interface and they point users to Microsoft services, the company had said earlier when the Nokia X made its debut at the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona in February.

“Attendees both young and old experienced the power of Nokia X, and saw how the best of Nokia, Microsoft, and Android came together in the awesome device,” Nokia Philippines said in a statement.

Until now, Nokia phones have worked exclusively with Windows Phone, the operating system developed by Microsoft, which is expected to complete a 5.44-billion-euro takeover of Nokia's mobile telephone business by the end of March.

The Android platform is considerably cheaper than Windows Phone, however, allowing Nokia to offer low-cost phones in emerging markets.

Nokia X, which is available in green, red, black and white, has a suggested retail price of only P5,990 in the Philippines.

Nokia X phones on display. Photo by Vladimir Bunoan, ABS-CBNnews.com

Nokia's mobile telephone business reported a 789-million-euro loss in 2013. It was nevertheless the world's second largest manufacturer of all types of mobile handsets in that year after Samsung, with a 13.9-percent market share, down from 19.1 percent at the end of 2012, according to research house Gartner Inc.

On Saturday, Pinoy cell-phone users were treated to fun activities, special offers and freebies and a concert by Rocksteddy and other celebrity guests. Apart from experiential Nokia X demo areas, where buyers can purchase the phone on the spot, the crowds were also treated to games such as Speed Stack. Nokia also set up facilities for wall climbing, an inflatable obstacle course and kart racing.

Guests try wall climbing. Photo by Vladimir Bunoan, ABS-CBNnews.com

“We are very happy with the turnout of the people here at Nokia X Races as we launch to the general public our affordable smartphone that provides the great Nokia and Microsoft experiences while running your favorite Android apps,” Karel Holub, general manager of Nokia Philippines, said in the statement.

Saturday's public launch in Manila came on the heels of reports that the Nokia X quickly sold out in China when it opened online reservations for the phone last week.

“We are truly happy about the reception and interest that we are getting. Since the Philippines is one of the first countries to launch it, we at Nokia are very excited for all the Pinoys who can easily get the Nokia X experience at a very affordable price,” Holub said in the statement.

The Nokia X features Nokia’s tile-based user interface inspired by its Lumia family. It also comes with Fastlane, a screen that lets people switch between their favorite apps more smoothly.

It is just one of the smartphones from the Finnish company that can run Android. Two other phones, the Nokia X+ and the Nokia XL, will be available globally sometime in the second quarter. – With report from Agence France-Presse