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Nokia launches first Android range phones

24 February 2014

Nokia yesterday, launched its first Android range of phones-- the Nokia X, Nokia X + and Nokia Xl powered by Microsoft software in place of the standard Google software.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who is now executive vice president said the company announced the launch of a new family of phones that would help the company target the lower range of the mobile market.

While the Nokia X and Nokia X + are smaller phones, the Nokia XL featured a 5-inch screen. While the Nokia X is priced at 89, the X+ has been priced at 99 while the XL costs 109.

A host of Nokia and Microsoft services are on offer with the phones - cloud, an App Store connecting both Android and other stores like Yandex.

In another development, BlackBerry Ltd said it would make its messaging service BBM available to Microsoft's Windows Phone as also the upcoming Nokia X platforms over the coming months.

BlackBerry Messaging, or BBM, a messaging platform offers collaboration tools including BBM Groups, BBM Voice and BBM Channels and competed with services such as WhatsApp, which was bought by Facebook for $19 billion.

According to a statement by BlackBerry today, BBM would be available as a free download from the Windows Phone Store this summer, while BBM for Nokia X would be available from the Nokia Store when the Nokia X platform launched.

BBM is a pioneering mobile-messaging service, but its user base had failed to keep pace with that of WhatsApp, partly because BlackBerry had long refused to open the service to users on other platforms.

WhatsApp, with a 450-million user base, on the other hand had grown rapidly, with its service working on Apple Inc's iOS platform, Google Inc's market-dominating Android operating system and with devices powered by both the Windows and BlackBerry operating systems.

BBM too remained popular, even though BlackBerry devices have waned in popularity.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company, late last year, finally opened the messaging platform to users of iPhones and Android devices, which saw the active BBM users grow to over 80 million.

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