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Although officially Nokia Corp. has always been against Google Android operating system and favoured either MeeGo or Windows Phone, unofficially the company has been playing with the platform for quite a while. Apparently, the company has not only tried Android, but even has developed a special version of the OS for inexpensive smartphones. Unfortunately, even if the first of such devices makes it to the market, it risks to become the last one.

Nokia is on the finish line with development of the code-named Normandy smartphone, reports The Verge web-site. The Normandy handset uses a highly-customized version of Google Android operating system, such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire OS. The phone is designed for emerging markets where Nokia sells its Asha-branded handsets. Thanks to Android, such phones have better market potential than Asha and therefore could capture higher market share particularly among the youth. The Normandy is expected to support popular Android apps, such as Skype.

Given the fact that the Normandy smartphone features “forked” version of Google Android and the fact that it is aimed at emerging markets, it could hardly compete against Lumia handsets that run Windows Phone software from Microsoft Corp.

Image by @evleaks. Please click to enlarge.

Nokia employees working on Normandy were reportedly told that the device is planned for release in 2014; one insider has even described the Normandy effort as “full steam ahead”. Unfortunately, since Nokia’s devices and services business unit is in process of acquisition by Microsoft, the product may not see the light of the day. The acquisition closes in Q1 2014 and Microsoft will unlikely sell an Android-based handset. Even if Nokia manages to release Normandy early in 2014, the product will likely become the last of its kind. Just like the Nokia N9 was the first and the last consumer smartphone from the company based on Meego operating system.

Nokia did not comment on the news-story.

Tags: Nokia, Normandy, Google, Android, Windows Phone, Microsoft, Lumia, Asha


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