Rumor has it that Microsoft Corporation (MSFT - Free Report) is planning to launch a new product, perhaps a new second-generation Nokia (NOK - Free Report) X2 handset sometime today.
A teaser posted on the Microsoft-run Nokia Conversations blog indicated the release of a new Nokia X line of devices, which run on Android Open Source Project ("AOSP") version of Android. These would then be the first Android phones to be shipped by Microsoft.
The launch of a new phone can be beneficial for Microsoft as it will help it to gain traction in the fast-growing mobile and cloud-computing markets. Not only will a cheaper version of Android-based X2 phones entice entry-level phone buyers, who otherwise might not buy Windows phones, but it will also appeal to Android-users. Android is far more popular than Microsoft’s own Windows Phones.
Reportedly, the new handset will have larger displays, improved rear-facing cameras and snappier performance compared to the original Nokia X. The phones will offer a 4.3-inch display, a 5-megapixel rear camera along with a VGA front camera, 4GB of internal storage, 1 GB RAM and a 1.2GHz dual-core processor.
In February, Nokia had announced the launch of a new family of cheap Android devices called Nokia X. These phones run on a forked version of Android and do not include Google’s (GOOGL - Free Report) services like the Play Store for apps and other digital content. Instead, Nokia created its own store and incorporated a lot of Microsoft services like Skype and Bing search.
In April, Microsoft closed the acquisition of Nokia’s Devices & Services Business, now named Microsoft Mobile Oy. It has been a leader in creating the Lumia line of smartphones that run on Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system.
Microsoft is trying to increase its market share in the global smartphone market as Windows Phone still has a very tiny market share in comparison to Apple’s (AAPL - Free Report) iOS and Android mobile platforms.
Microsoft shares carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).