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RUMOR: Could Android be Nokia's next Asha entry-level Feature Phone OS?
Posted by Arne Hess - on Wednesday, 11.12.13 - 11:13:20 CET under 04 - Android News - Viewed 11400x
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Back in November, @evleaks posted a photo of a so called "Nokia Normandy" which shows a Lumia-styled touchscreen smartphone. However, most noticeable is the center key which is just an arrow, looking like the back button of an Asha S40 Nokia entry-level smartphone or feature phone - however you want to call it. Now, The Verge has received further information saying that the device is indeed legit and that the "Normandy" is running a special and "forked" version of Android; which is said to be not aligned with Google's own version but pretty much what Amazon is doing with its Kindle Fire line of Android tablets.

According to The Verge's info, the Normandy runs Android applications like Skype and other popular top apps, which makes a lot of sense if it's really running the Android core, and that Nokia has been developing the Android-powered phone "despite Microsoft's plans to acquire the company's handset business". There's no proof that this handset will be ever launched, especially not after the final completion of Microsoft's takeover, but there are some good reasons to do so anyway. According to The Verge, "Nokia employees working on Normandy were informed the device is planned as a 2014 release, and one insider described the Normandy effort as 'full steam ahead'".

As a matter of fact, Nokia still needs a low-end entry market operating system, especially for developing countries where most Windows Phones phones are still too expensive; even if Nokia is doing its best to bring down Windows Phone prices; and it's clear that Nokia's S40 OS is somewhere a dead end anyway since it can't expect that 3rd party developers will continue to support it - even if WhatsApp just announced its support. On the other hand is Microsoft releasing most of its apps for Android anyway, sometimes even before they hit the Windows Phone Marketplace. Therefore I can see some real synergies here, if Nokia is using a highly customized fork of Android which nevertheless allows to use standard Microsoft and 3rd party apps anyway. This could potentially even lead to an Android version with Metro aka Modern UI tiles.

Anyway, nothing is confirmed by now nor official but if the Normandy is really targeting a February launch, we should hear of it at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, end of February.

Cheers ~ Arne


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