Technology giant Microsoft has announced it will kill off Android phones in the low-end Nokia X line. Nokia introduced the Android-powered smartphone line before the sale of its handset business to Microsoft in the spring.
The news follows Microsoft's announcement that it will reduce staff numbers by about 14% in the next year. The company said that 12,500 of the 18,000 job cuts would be in production and office positions related to the Nokia acquisition in April.
In an email to staff, Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said, 'We plan to shift select Nokia X product designs to become Lumia products running Windows.'
Stephen Elop, vice president of devices and services at Microsoft, said the move from Nokia X to Windows Phone will occur immediately while sales of existing Nokia X products continue.
In a letter to employees, Elop said: 'We plan to deliver additional lower-cost Lumia devices by shifting select future Nokia X designs and products to Windows Phone devices.' He continued, 'We will be particularly focused on making the market for Windows Phone.'
Elop added that Microsoft would target sales of affordable smartphones within the Lumia line to grow market share in the sector. He said there would be 'breakthrough products' to grow sales in the higher end of the smartphone market.
Microsoft's mobile phone and smart devices divisions will be combined into one business, he revealed.
The company has made the decision to have a phased exit of phone production from Komaron, Hungary, he said. Microsoft's smartphone production will be carried out in Vietnam and China. Phone engineering ill be located in Finland.
Going forward, the higher end Lumia phones will be produced in Salo, Finland while the low-end products will be developed in Tampere, Finland.