Microsoft May Still Pursue Nokia Android Smartphone – Reports

Microsoft might not scrap the leaked Normandy Nokia Android smartphone

Nokia is working on a low-cost Android-powered smartphone codenamed ‘Normandy’, according to various reports, despite Microsoft close to completing its acquisition of the Finnish firm’s handset business.

The project is still being developed by Nokia, which has informed the team working on the device that it is targeting an early 2014 release, with an image purporting to be the Normandy emerging on the @evleaks Twitter account last month.

It is understood that the Nokia Normandy uses a forked version of Android different to the one used by Google, similar to the way Amazon uses the operating system for its range of Kindle Fire tablets. This allows Nokia to customise the operating system for its own means, although it still apparently supports popular Android applications such as Skype.

Nokia Android smartphone

Nokia Android Normandy © evleaksNokia apparently hopes that the Normandy will be able to push smartphone applications into new markets, something which its Asha range has so far failed to do. However it is unclear whether, if at all, the phone will be released before or after Microsoft acquires Nokia’s devices and services business.

Windows Phone’s market share in Europe has been boosted by the success of mid-range smartphones and it is suggested that Microsoft would not be keen on targeting the low end with Android ahead of its own platform.

But AllThingsD says Microsoft may still pursue the project. It claims the forked version of Android looks similar to Windows Phone, but promotes Microsoft services such as Bing and Skype. While Microsoft might prefer to use Windows Phone, at least users in developing markets would be using its services.

Microsoft has so far received regulatory approval from US and European authorities, as well as Nokia shareholders, but it has been suggested that Nokia’s ongoing tax issues in India could throw a spanner in the works for the transaction, which is expected to conclude early next year.

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