Nokia is apparently still working on an Android smartphone, according to a leak published by The Verge, and that despite the company being about to get out of the phone business, the project is running “Full steam ahead.” The device has been outed as codename Normandy, which was leaked twice during November, once alongside news of the Nokia Goldfinger, and again in the picture you see below.
However, before we start getting all worked up about a Google Play Edition Lumia phone again, the Normandy is supposedly designed to take on (or over from) the low-end Series 40 software, seen running on Nokia’s Asha phones. What’s more, the Android software is said to be closer to Amazon’s take on the OS, in that it’ll be a “forked” version and potentially almost unrecognizable as the Android with which we’re familiar.
Supposedly the software will still support Android apps, but sources speaking to AllThingsD indicated the choice may be restricted, forcing Microsoft apps – Skype and Bing, for example – onto users. The icons may be given a Live Tile makeover, so Android could end up looking a lot like Windows Phone.
Nokia has messed around with Android for a while, with talk of a device codename Mountain View turning up shortly after the Microsoft sale was announced. That phone was supposed to be a low-end, entry level device with a Snapdragon 200 chip, and could be a prior version of the Normandy.
But hold on, isn’t Nokia done with making phones? Well, yes, it is. It sold its devices division to Microsoft in September, and that sale has been approved. As we understand it, once the sale is finalized, Nokia won’t make phones and can’t use its name on any mobile phone hardware until the end of 2015. Microsoft will take control of the Asha name and Series 40 software.
Once Microsoft takes over as boss, the Normandy project runs the risk of being canceled, unless Microsoft wants to release a phone using its rival’s software. We also can’t imagine it being very happy if Nokia manages to push the phone out the door before Microsoft changes the locks. However, there’s still time for Microsoft to get onboard, so we’ll have to wait and see what early 2014 brings, which is the rumored launch window for the Normandy.