Nokia has been silent when it comes to Android, CEO Stephen Elop constantly denied rumors and questions on Nokia bringing an Android smartphone to the market, but in the post-acquisition age, the company may be looking to finally release a low-end Android smartphone, named Normandy.
Microsoft has recently got the acquisition past the opening stages and early reports said the deal was made primarily to keep Nokia from making an Android device, but new reports say Microsoft will allow Nokia to go ahead with their low-end Android device.
Leaks and news on the Normandy smartphone are pretty minimal at this time – the Normandy project has only been talked about a few times and no real detail has been shed, other than Nokia is looking to build a UI to work on low-end handsets better than Android currently.
Nokia will be heavily customising the look of Android, similar to Amazon’s Fire OS. The handset maker will even go as far as to add their own services and have Google’s service in a folder somewhere, but will still opt in for the Google Play Store instead of offering their own.
Normandy apparently has a UI similar to Windows Phone and will run Microsoft applications like Bing and Skype pre-installed. This is a big move by Nokia into the Android ecosystem and comes at a rather odd time, where Microsoft is trying to grab some Windows Phone dominance.
The design of the first Normandy smartphone was leaked earlier this week by @evleaks, showing a similar design to almost every Lumia smartphone in existence. This is the real “Nokia Android smartphone”, albeit with a rather heavy UI looking more like Windows Phone.
The Normandy smartphone will be low-end and it does seem rather odd Nokia is stepping into the low-end market on another platform, considering Windows Phone success is mostly down to the cheap low-end Lumia devices.