Nokia is reportedly getting closer to releasing a device running Android with a handset using a skinned version of the Google OS reportedly in the works.
It’s understood that Nokia has been testing the Normandy smartphone with a “forked” version of Android that isn’t aligned with Google’s version of the OS and is similar to the one Amazon ships with the Kindle Fire line of tablets.
Sources close to the project told The Verge that Normandy is being targeted at the low-cost device market and is designed as an equivalent to its low-end Asha device, which has struggled in the sales charts.
Employees working on Normandy have stated that it will be released in 2014 and even though the device division has been taken over by Google rival Microsoft the project is still “full steam ahead.”
It’s unclear as to whether the project will be abandoned once the Microsoft deal is completed, as it’s unlikely the Windows Phone OS owner will want to pursue a strategy to develop phones on its main rival’s OS.
Rumours of Nokia developing Android-powered Lumia devices have floated around for some time with New York Times sources stating back in September that Microsoft executives knew about Nokia’s dabbling with Android.
If Nokia was able to offer its devices to Android it would open it up to the almost 80 per cent worldwide share of the OS market that Android currently holds and quite simply wouldn’t make a lot of sense on the side of its new owner Microsoft.
Nokia accounts for 80 per cent of the devices that are sold on the Windows Phone OS and it has helped Microsoft’s fledgling mobile OS to reach third place behind both Apple’s iOS and Android.