Although the idea that Nokia – which is soon to be owned by Microsoft (transition teams are working day and night) – will release an Android phone seems farfetched, it’s clear that the Finnish company was serious about the device. Dubbed ‘Normandy’, the low-end hardware reportedly runs a forked-version of Android, meaning it can’t access core-Google services.
We’ve seen some renders and even a photo, but now a new image has appeared on the Sina Weibo site Palm Uncle (at least, that’s our Bing translation). The photo is interesting because it shows the device wrapped in its protective cover, which is often used to mask its full design. Indeed many Nokia execs carry their pre-production Lumias in such cases when traveling.
It also shows the Nokia logo booting on what looks like the same display type as the Lumia 520 i.e. backlit IPS with no ClearBlack polarizer. The device features just one button near the bottom.
No other information was provided in the source.
A forked version of Android would of course be less desirable than core Android fans would want, and the low-end hardware would be the kiss of death. Many have speculated that this device was created to get Microsoft to buy the Asha brand in addition to the Lumia one, since off-loading a feature phone division would be harder in 2015. That would be a shrewd move by Elop and Nokia. Others have claimed that it was Nokia’s ‘Plan B’ should things go south with Microsoft.
While the exact future plans for ‘Normandy’ aren’t known, there’s not too much evidence suggesting that this will be released. Even if it were, it would be a one-shot deal with presumably no support or further development, making it more of a novelty than a threat to low cost Lumias.
Source: Weibo (login required); Thanks, hengxiang32401, for the tip!
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.