10
Dec
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When Microsoft initiated a purchase of Nokia back in September, a lot of Android fans let out a defeated sigh: there was no way the company would ever release Android-powered hardware. Well hold on to your dreams, true believers, because multiple leaks indicate that a new Nokia phone will indeed run Google's open-source OS.

The phone is codenamed "Normandy," though that is almost certain to change to "Lumia Four-Digit Number" if it's released. Evleaks posted what looked like a press photo of the phone in late November, which we ignored at the time because... well, did you see the sign on the door? He speculated that it might be an Asha device, Nokia's brand of inexpensive smartphones running the S40 operating system, most of which are aimed at emerging markets.

The Verge reports that several anonymous sources have told them that the Normandy is in fact running Android. Though the device was planned and designed before the Microsoft acquisition began, at least one insider says that the project will be completed and released, describing its internal status as "full steam ahead."

But don't get too excited. One, the Asha phones that the Normandy was probably designed to replace are extremely low-end - most of them lack even basic smartphone hardware like a GPS radio or 3G data. Two, The Verge also reports that the version of Android that the phone is currently running is heavily modified, roughly to the same level as the Fire OS on Amazon's Kindle tablets. The odds that it would be competitive with any notable Android phones, or that it would have access to the Google Play Store and other Google services, are extremely low.

There's also a good chance that Microsoft will kill the Normandy project before its reported 2014 release. The Microsoft-Nokia deal was just approved by the US Department of Justice and the European Commission a week ago, and until the merger is final, Microsoft still holds no real power over Nokia's decision-making. The acquisition is a done deal, but it will take several months at least for Microsoft to take control of the company. It's a toss-up as to whether Microsoft will allow the Normandy to go to market to avoid wasting the time and money it took to develop the phone, or scrap the project completely (or just possibly try to switch it over to Windows Phone or S40) and take the loss.

In any case, the Normandy is a project from a very different company than the one Nokia is now, or will be later. Even if it is released, and it does run Android, it certainly won't herald a change for the company at large. Nokia's more widespread devices in all segments of the mobile market will run Windows, and only Windows, in the immediate future.

Move along folks, there's nothing to see here.

Source: Evleaks, The Verge

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • evertjr

    yes please!

  • Marco Pérez

    Link bait this one....I was all excited.

  • Wazzifer

    If this was released 3 years ago, maybe Nokia would have regained themselves. What a shame.

    • Paul

      Yeah, can you imagine the look on the Nokia manager's faces if this phone was released, high end, with their best cam.. and would become an absolute hit that would rival all the big players?
      I bet some of them would seriously consider suicide if that would happen, heh.

  • Lawats Lord

    ...

    • Sean Royce

      Not funny.

      • Crafty

        Hmm. I thought it was.

        To each his own. Cheers.

      • squiddy20

        At least 85 people (at the time of this writing) would beg to differ.

      • no

        this. reddit tier faggotry needs to stop

        • Sean Royce

          I can only assume you come from 4chan.

    • Guest

      ...

    • Guest

      ..

    • SlasH3R

      ....

  • mesmorino

    This entire article makes me wish the Normandy SR2 came in hotrod red

    • http://thegumshoe.com/ Michael Crider

      I was absolutely thinking about Mass Effect the whole time. (The SR1 was cooler.)

      • mesmorino

        Thems fightin' words my friend!

  • shadowx360

    Does Nokia have a thing for closed off ecosystems? First Windows Mobile and now an Android phone probably without Google services? They're failing as a company, it's time for them to open their doors instead of chasing after dying dreams.

  • Alex

    If they'd released a fairly stock Android device with Google apps and just an incredible camera (and camera app) as the only customisations, they could have seen just how many units they'd be able to shift. If this ships at all, it will likely do very badly and will be used as a reference point as to why it was a good idea that they didn't commit to Android.

    • GigiAUT

      I was already fantasising about buying a new Nokia with Android. Before the Android/iOS race, Nokia had the best phones :(

    • fonix232

      Don't forget about some of their services. I for one would love to see Nokia/Ovi Maps (or as it is recently called, Nokia HERE) on Android.

      Nokia's actual power was not only the hardware - but the quality of their services. Their camera software, GPS navigation, even their app store (no matter how short-lived that was) was top quality. Their desktop company app would beat even today's company apps (well, those that are released, any way), and we're talking about a 5-6 year old software here!

  • CuriousCursor

    Maybe it's just a move to show Android in a bad light

    • http://thegumshoe.com/ Michael Crider

      A poison pill? If Microsoft/Nokia is looking to sully Android's reputation, they'll have to get in line behind half of the manufacturers in China (and even a few of the big international names, who are no strangers to crappy phones).

    • Mike Reid
  • Vijay Nlsn Raj
  • supremekizzle
    • Marchant Volschenk

      Wonder if he still thinks so considering this was 3 years ago

      • Gav456

        Ikr, I mean, look how well HTC have done. Don't get me wrong, I love Android, been with android sinceeclairr and currently have a nexus 5 & 7.I still can't shake the feeling that android will be Samsung in 3 more years

        • Marchant Volschenk

          Well I dont know. Google does currently own Motorola so maybe Moto And Samsung?
          Remember Samsung also has their own OS Tizen

  • TheLastAngel

    More like Nokia Waterloo...

  • Joe Freddy

    To all who think this is an android device... Its an Asha platform device. See the switch in the middle its a single one like asha not three like android

  • anzensepp1987

    M$ to have then a "Scroogled"-device in their portfolio. This makes M$ even more ridiculous.

  • Adrian

    Nice joke Nokia.

  • Pramod

    Wow, i can't wait for this, A Nokia branded android forked phone , later with Cyanogenmod 11.0 running . Bring it Nokia ..........

    • Brad

      but probably with crap specs.... their phones are beautiful, though.

  • Aki

    Nokia set the benchmark

  • Doobsky

    this is gonna be awesome, kinda like BBM for Android/iOS!

  • vkaku

    It makes a lot of business sense that Nokia wants to go Android. They've been good at the hardware, and now they're running state of the art firmware on it. If only, it's good to have competition and let the market decide what stack wins. I'd pay for a phone that is more durable than an iPhone, Nexus or Galaxy - and that runs Android 4.4 (at par with Nexus).

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