Nokia have long been stalwarts of the Windows Phone operating system, opting to launch the Lumia range of handsets using just this operating system. The move may well have helped arrest the company’s slump into decline, and it even led to the proposed acquisition of their business by Microsoft; a deal which is set to complete in early 2014. It is a curious move, then, for the company to suddenly start launching an Android powered device.
The Nokia Normandy is the codename given to the Nokia Android device. Very little is really known about the device, but it is known that Nokia had become disgruntled with Windows Phone’s inability to operate on lower end devices. Although this has now changed, it seems probable that the Finnish manufacturer are considering an Android handset I order to further improve their fortunes in the budget smartphone market.
In recent years, Nokia has had to rely heavily on the sale of feature phones and budget smartphones. While their popularity in Europe and the USA dwindled, they continued to do well selling phones in emerging markets – markets that tend to opt for low cost phones with limited features. Nokia apparently saw Android as being the best operating system for developing this type of handset, and so rumours of such a device have been circulating for a few years now.
Microsoft paid Nokia handsomely to develop a range of Windows phones, and both parties benefited from the resulting partnership. Windows Phone was not popular with other manufacturers, and this remains the case today – if you want a Windows Phone, then you basically have to choose between a couple of HTC handsets, and a whole range of Lumia. Furthermore, Nokia started to make some sales in major markets again.
While the Normandy may be considered full steam ahead right now, it seems unlikely that a Microsoft Nokia would continue with the plan. Microsoft is presumably looking at the acquisition of Nokia as a means to progress further with their own mobile operating system, and Nokia wouldn’t have to worry about the license fee issue that has prevented them from releasing a range of excellent budget Windows phones.
Will the Nokia Normandy ever see the light of day?
Will a Microsoft owned Nokia be able to produce lower cost handsets?
Would you buy either of these ranges if they did launch?