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Nokia shifts to Android for its smartphones

By By JEVANS NYABIAGE | February 26th 2014

By JEVANS NYABIAGE in Barcelona, Spain

Nokia has made a dramatic about-turn three years after ditching Symbian for the  Windows Phone.

The handset maker, which is about to be acquired by Microsoft in a $7.2 billion deal, is turning to software created by arch-rival Google for a new line of phones it hopes will help tap into the dynamic low-cost smartphone market.

In 2012, the Finnish firm rejected Android, when it tied its fortunes to Microsoft’s Windows Phone.

But at the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona, Stephen Elop, Executive Vice President, Devices & Services at Nokia announced a new line of mobile phones that run on a modified version of Android, which has become the world’s most popular software used in smartphones.

The new line of phones – the Nokia X, X+ and XL are based on an open version of the Android mobile software system. The announcement came just days ahead of the planned Microsoft acquisition.

Elop called the new NokiaX phones ‘feeder’ phones that will be a “gateway to Microsoft”. He said the phone “takes people to Microsoft’s cloud, not Google’s cloud”.

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