Reports are coming in that Nokia plans to release an Android run phone that uses a “forked” version of the operating system. The handset, called Normandy, is a low end model that could allow Nokia to compete with Chinese manufacturers.
This is a surprising move from the phone makers, who have been bought out by Microsoft. The tech giant will be taking over the mobile brand within a few months, yet the Normandy is set to go on sale in 2014. Given Microsoft’s competition with Google for domination of the market, seeing Nokia use their software is certainly unexpected.
However, it won’t be traditional Android software. Rather than being specific to Google products, it will be more open so it can access third party like Bing (perhaps as a nod to their new lord and master?), while still using the Google Play store.
China has been making a number of low end handsets using Android Open Source Project (AOSP) coding, and Nokia is following in their footsteps. The code, which is offered by Google for anyone to access, lets mobile makers access services like Gmail and Maps. Sales are high, thanks to the cost and access to such products.
Nokia’s approach with Normandy is probably going to be more involved in integrating Microsoft and traditional Nokia features to the software. But with the base being the same, it should be a good alternative to Chinese smartphones. They should at least be able to compete with the market, and let Microsoft firmly establish themselves with lower end phones for the first time.
But why is Nokia making an Android phone now? It is hard to say, but it could be them trying to wriggle their way in before they become fully under the thumb of Microsoft.
More likely is them attempting to replace their Asha line, a low end Android device that has never made any real ways. By making it compatible with Microsoft features, they are trying in the larger brand with their own in a market they have been trying to launch into for years.
Either way, Nokia isn’t talking, and neither is Microsoft. It is all rumors and speculation, but images of the handset have been release. So we at least know that the Normandy is real and coming.
But given how hard Microsoft has found it to break into a market dominated by Apple and Google, this might be a step in the wrong direction. Even if they are trying to work their way into cheap phone sales.
Source: The Guardian