Is Nokia planning to use Google’s OS to promote Microsoft services?
A purported listing for the heavily rumoured Nokia Normandy has appeared on a Vietnamese gadget shopping site, which suggests the smartphone will run Android 4.4 Kit Kat – given a tiled makeover similar to Windows Phone
The advertised specifications are in line with previous leaks and claim that the handset will boast a four-inch FWVGA display, a five megapixel camera and dual SIM capability. It will apparently be powered by a dual core 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage which can be expanded by up to 32GB through a MicroSD card slot and will feature support for 3G but not LTE networks.
The images suggest the Normandy will have a tile-based user interface similar to that of Windows Phone, with applications for Skype and HERE maps displayed. But the phone will be a proper Android device, – the listing also says the phone will have access to Google Play.
Nokia says it does not comment on rumour and speculation.
The listing has since been removed, but it is possible that the Normandy could make its debut at Mobile World Congress (MWC) next month. Its relatively meagre specifications indicate that if the handset does in fact exist, it would be aimed at developing countries, possibly as a successor to the S40-powered Nokia Asha range.
But an Android-powered Nokia smartphone would be a curiosity at a time when Microsoft is set to complete a £4.6 billion takeover of the Finnish manufacturer’s smartphone business.
It is unclear why Microsoft would promote Android over Windows Phone in developing markets, but one suggestion is that the Normandy could prove a cheap way to promote Microsoft’s other services such as Bing and Skype, using the Google operating system to promote them over Google’s offerings. Although Microsoft might prefer people to use Windows Phone, at least they would be using its services.
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