Many Android users have dreamed of owning a Nokia-manufactured phone running their favorite mobile OS, and that day may arrive sooner than they expect. According to a story recently published by the Wall Street Journal, Nokia plans to release a phone running Android later this month, possibly unveiling it at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The story doesn't contain any photos of the upcoming handset, but here is an image that @evleaks shared just over a month ago.


The article repeats much of what we've heard before. Even though the low-end device runs Android, it has been heavily customized so that it only slightly resembles competing devices, so much so that it doesn't come with access to the Play Store. Yes, you read that right. Instead the device will come with apps and services created by Nokia and Microsoft, along with a separate app store offering Android apps.

The plan here is for Microsoft to increase hardware sales volume without tying customers to Google services. This way the company can help support the cost of combatting Apple and Google in a field where its own operating system frankly isn't that competitive. It remains to be seen if this approach will work. After all, Microsoft may want this device to succeed, but only so much.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • invinciblegod

    Too bad it's a low end phone. I would buy a Lumia 1020 with android immediately (even a non GMS one). That would be because sideloading or roms would probably be possible on such a device.

  • TheUndertaker21

    come on Nokia! do it already

  • TSON1

    No Google Play services Android phone might as well be a Windows Phone - ain't gonna sell.

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    • Sieg

      No problemo, Nokia Play Store coming!
      With support for carrier billing payment, and given the state of current Google Play Store DMCA abuse, I'm sure dev will start publishing on Nokia Android store as alternative. Competition is good! For consumer, and developer.

      • MJ

        Yes, I am sure developers will be running to publish their app to a store that supports one low end phone.

    • Yuku Sugianto

      No Gmail, no Maps, and no YouTube.. then for what?

      • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

        Probably Nokia feels we are still up for amazing peers by throwing our phone at walls and breaking walls thus. Yeah? No? Then NO OTHER USE.

      • Laura Wilson

        It's a Nokia device running a heavily skinned Android without Play Services with low end hardware and a single capacitive button in the center of a giant bezel?

      • Michael Pahl

        Flashing CM

        • Manuel Bocchia

          The people who now how to actually do that aren't the ones who'll make the phone succeed, though. It's a still born phone.

    • sd

      The one thing that the Nokia store will be superior in is availability. Unlike Google, Nokia realizes there are other countries on earth.

      • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

        Yeah. You are right. Nokia Store is SO MUCH RICHER than the Play Store right now, amirite? //sarcasm

        Country restriction is about a few apps (albeit I agree it is a pain in the ass!). But Nokia Store is so poor w.r.t. content, your country restriction point is downright moot.

    • Christopher Bement

      Low end android phones sell very well. Not everyone is an enthusiast. Some people just want an iphone but can't afford it, so they go with whatever pile of shit device the sales rep at the carrier points them to.

      • TSON1

        I never said anything bad about low-end phones, I said phones without Google services.

        • Christopher Bement

          The fact that the article you're commenting on is in fact, about a low-end phone determined that was a lie. This Nokia is a cheap piece of shit that no one with a clue about smartphones would ever buy, but someone who isn't saavy and happens to be low on cash would. Paragraph 2, Sentence 2.

          • TSON1

            You're definitely reaching, can you look at my comment rather than the article?

            "No Google Play services Android phone might as well be a Windows Phone - ain't gonna sell."

            If I meant "low-end phone" then I would have said low-end phone. You could have the fastest phone in the world but if it doesn't have Google services nobody's gonna want it, neither non-savvy or savvy customers.

  • arana

    careful i see rounded corners there!

  • Bluewall

    Biggest troll ever in the Android history. Finally an Android phone made by Nokia, low end specs without playstore.

    • Manuel Bocchia

      It's like Valve releasing Half Life 3 with a gameplay time of 30 minutes.

      • Christopher Bement

        And IAPs...

  • remister

    For it to be a true Nokia, it will have a hardware keyboard.

    • http://about.me/jmcfrancis James Francis

      If it has a hardware keyboard, I'll buy it in a flash. I really don't care for touchscreen phones. I prefer a tablet for that.

      • jakka deeez noooots

        smh....must be a dlorean in your garage to, I always find it nauseating when I see this comment in so many boards, for the life of me I don't understand what's so great about a keyboard, get off the sidekick train brah those days have long since passed. If you can't type on a software keyboard in this day and age then you probably don't need a smartphone.

        • http://about.me/jmcfrancis James Francis

          What works for you doesn't work for everyone. I wouldn't be proud of displaying such an incredible lack of insight as you do. Here's hoping you aren't actually in charge of designing products, because you might just drive your employer into the ground...

        • GraveUypo

          i makes you sick that people have needs other than yours?
          wow. you talk about days long passed and yet you're still in the dark ages.

      • remister

        Yea my last Nokia phone was the N900, too bad the Maemo community didn't continue. It seemed like a great phone with lots of potential, until Android took over the scene.

  • http://dabuxian.com/ Dabu

    I think that'd be actually really good, especially for us Android users. Imagine Microsoft and Nokia ditching Windows for mobile completely, but going with their own Android experience instead, just like Amazon does. It could still be profitable for them, because it's their own ecosystem, and it means another big company joining the Linux and Java world. More developers, more attention, lesser reason to focus all resources only to iOS. I think that's a win win situation for everyone here. I can imagine this little phone just be a testing ground for possible bigger changes.

    • AA :P

      naah! their only intention would be to undermine android and drive users to their crappy phones

    • Reid Knight

      Microsoft is not going to ditch Windows for mobile. That goes against their entire philosophy of Windows 8, which was to have a uniform UX across all platforms.

  • Joffrey Abeilard

    So much rumors, expectations.. for an low end Android phone without Google Apps.

  • Guest123

    If it were "Nokia" I would support them, but now that Nokia is MS, no thank you.

  • Matthew Fry

    Wait. What? It's a Nokia device running a heavily skinned Android without Play Services with low end hardware and a single capacitive button in the center of a giant bezel? Wow. So excited.

  • fabitrader

    This phone is a joke.

  • Nikola Antonic

    Nokia and Microsoft are big companies. They wll atract many of devs. For them to do is just to put their apps to nokia store, its android, after all.
    I think that Microsoft brought nokia just to put custom android on it and sell a lott. I'm not sure of that Google Android os will be open-sourced much longer.

    • AA :P

      and yet, 3 years after nokia decided to go microsoft, they have less than 5% of the market share ?

  • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

    Would I like an Amazon-like modded non-GMS OS in a new phone? NO!
    Thus, would I like a modded non-GMS OS in a new phone, be it Nokia? Fucking Hell NO!

  • MJ

    I think Microsoft and Nokia's plan is obvious... Sell uninformed consumers, new to smart phones, crippled low cost Android phones that will sour them on Android who then may go buy a Windows phone.

    • http://about.me/jmcfrancis James Francis

      That would be true, except that there is a serious lack of low-cost smartphones and Nokia knows better than anyone how to fill that gap. In addition, your theory doesn't explain how Nokia would negate the catastrophic damage to its brand in markets that love it for its low-cost phones. So, no, this is not some strange ploy. This might be the biggest thing to happen to Android since Samsung took apart an iPhone.

    • tocsin

      Umm no, people keep saying this but the average consumer might not even know the difference between android and windows phone and having a bad experience with this phone would be more likely to sour people towards Nokia than towards android.

  • David

    It'll be "Low-End", but it'll still cost you $500+. And I'll bet - no SD card slot. Why don't these people just stop wasting everyone's time and jump off a cliff already.