Nokia launching Android smartphone ‘Normandy’ at MWC

Normandy colour

According to recent reports, Nokia is planning on releasing its Android smartphone later this month at the Mobile World Congress in Spain. Codenamed Normandy, the smartphone marks an interesting shift. The Finnish tech company’s most popular operating system is Nokia and will soon be bought by Microsoft. Wouldn’t an Android smartphone complicate matters between Nokia and Microsoft? Apparently not. According to the Wall Street Journal, this peculiar move plays a part in Microsoft’s greater scheme of things.

We’ve heard rumours and seen pictures of Nokia’s Android phone, dubbed project Normandy. Apart from the claim that it will have a 4″ 480×854 display with a 5MP camera, its other hardware details are left in the dark. We do suspect that it will be a lower-end device.

If the rumour mill’s anything to go by, Nokia’s Normandy would carry a branched-off version of Android much like what Amazon does with its Kindle Fire. It might not feature Google’s Play Store but the software might come pre-installed with Internet Explorer for instance, or other Microsoft apps.

The official acquisition of Nokia by Microsoft is said to be finalised at the end of this year’s first quarter. That’s 31 March to be exact, leaving ample room to announce an Android smartphone at the MWC taking place 24-27 February. We know by now that Nokia has already booked a seat at the event.

Whatever the case might be, project Normandy might not be the last Android phone made by Nokia.

According to the same report by the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is cool by the pool with the big ordeal and says it’s actually on board with the idea of looking at Google as a software provider.

People in the know point out that Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system has one fatal flaw — it’s not friendly for budget devices which means it can’t enter an emerging market that’s proving itself to be increasingly lucrative. Google’s Android, however, is and holds more than 80% of the world’s smartphone share with Windows Phone 8 looming around 4%.

“Microsoft appears willing to outsource part of its phone lineup to Android to boost volumes and support its handset manufacturing operation,” say those familiar with the matter. “Higher sales would help cover the high cost of competing in a smartphone industry dominated by Google, Apple and Samsung.”

The Wall Street Journal also says that while Microsoft sources out its soon-to-be hardware, namely Nokia, it will look to improve its software to cater for a high-end smartphone demand to compete with Apple.



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