By Alexandra Burlacu | Dec 12, 2013 10:02 AM EST
Nokia is reportedly working on a low-end Android smartphone codenamed "Normandy," as the company is nearing the end of a deal with Microsoft.
Over the years, many have wondered why Nokia chose to commit to Windows Phone instead of trying to make it big with the popular Android mobile operating system. Nokia was once at the top of the food chain, but lost significant ground to rivals on the smartphone market. When the company decided to ditch its outdated Symbian operating system, it chose to go with Microsoft's Windows Phone instead instead of Google's mobile OS, but hopes of a Nokia Android phone never really went away.
While Nokia has made no announcement yet regarding any Android smartphone plans, multiple sources close to The Verge have claimed that the Finnish company is currently working on a "forked" version of Android for a mobile device codenamed Normandy.
The "forking" here would refer to the way Nokia would redevelop the Android OS using the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code, similarly to how Amazon uses a customized Android for its Kindle devices.
In late November, trusted tipster @evleaks also posted an intriguing image of a red Nokia handset, purportedly the Nokia Normandy, but didn't mention whether the device was an Asha, a Lumia, or an Android smartphone. The Verge now reports that Nokia Normandy is an Android smartphone.
Nokia has been gaining market share on the smartphone battlefield, but it still lags behind rivals. The company gained popularity with some of its mid-range smartphones, and its new high-end additions are expected to be more successful. In the budget smartphone market, however, Nokia still has a long way to go despite its notable Asha efforts.
A Nokia smartphone, even a low-level one, would likely attract more consumers with Android's backing, especially in China where phones running AOSP are very popular. According to The Verge report, Nokia employees working on Normandy were told that the smartphone is planned for a 2014 launch.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that the purported Nokia Normandy is still in the rumor state for now. Nokia still has a strong bond with Microsoft and the company has not announced any plans to launch an Android smartphone, so take things with a grain of salt for now. We'll keep you in the loop as soon as we learn more about this potential Nokia Android smartphone.