Nokia's new Android-based X phones aren't replacing the Asha quasi-smartphones. They'll stay, even though Microsoft has said Windows Phone will run on the X's hardware platform. And Hans Henrik Lund, Nokia's vice president of smart device marketing, seems fine with that, although his messages were pretty mixed.
"We believe that we should provide choice. If we would go there with Lumia, we would go there with X. In harmony between the two, we would get more revenue out of it. So you could see similar hardware devices with X and Lumia platforms," he said.
But wait! "The prime smartphone platform [at Nokia] is Windows, end of story," he also said.
Okay, okay. So the prime platform is Windows, for a company that's in the middle of being absorbed by Microsoft. Lund is "super excited" about that merger, by the way. But now there's this Android platform, too, running on the same hardware that could run Windows Phone in the future. And there are still also feature phones.
"When I go into a mall in China and count 893 stores selling phones in that mall, it's a sea of product. I think I can handle my two little babies there without getting in trouble," Lund shot back.
"What you'll see happening is, we'll drive the Lumia prices down, we'll drive the X prices down, and we'll do the same for Asha," he said.
I tried to tease some of Lumia's future out of Lund, but of course he wasn't biting - except to say that Nokia will have a big presence at Microsoft's Build conference in early April, where the OS company will announce Windows Phone 8.1.
Considering that Lund said the Nokia-Microsoft merger will close "within Q1" and Build is at the beginning of Q2, that event is likely to be the coming-out party for Nokia as a unit of Microsoft.
"They've enabled really good B2B solutions with what they're announcing, and they talked about dual SIM, which is good for us as well," Lund said. "We have been working closely with them on some things that will be announced as part of their next update that we'll be super excited about."
Nokia's worked on speeding up its cameras, too; camera speed was our big complaint about the Lumia 1020 phone.
"If you compare the 1520, we're already way better, and if you compare to Icon, we're better again," Lund said. "We will improve it on the next version as well."
Speaking of the 1520 and the Icon, US consumers have been complaining a lot about Nokia's habit of doing single-carrier exclusives in the US While Lund said he feels their pain, it didn't sound like that's about to change.
"We have been challengers in the industry and we have focused on getting the operators to support us, and as part of that we chose that strategy," he said. "Would I love to do global products? From a scale perspective, most people would like to do that. We hear you loud and clear," he said.
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