According to the Wall Street Journal, Nokia will be releasing an Android phone at MWC. Yes, Nokia: manufacturer of Windows Phones, owned by Microsoft and competitor of Google.
Why on Earth, then, would it release an Android phone?
Well, there’s a lot more sense to it than it may seem at first. You see, the Nokia Android handset (known now as the Nokia Normandy) was already in development before Microsoft bought the company, meaning the building blocks were already in place.
Now, as a collective, Android powered phones are the most popular in the world. By a long, long way. This gives customers confidence in a brand running Android, even if they’ve never owned a handset by that particular manufacturer before.
People lost confidence in Nokia when it failed to keep up with the smartphone market, by mistakenly relying on its reputation and the ill-fated Symbian operating system.
The decision to make Windows phones and the subsequent buy-out by Microsoft meant that it was still fighting the confidence battle, as consumers shied away from the bright tiles and lack of decent apps.
Windows Phone has come a long way now, and Nokia is making some world class handsets to run it on, but the market share isn’t growing as fast as is needed, so what should they do? Grab an open source operating system, shove it on a cheap handset and bundle it with some Nokia branded apps, that’s what.
There’s even more going for the idea when you realise that Microsoft make money from every Android handset sold, due to a patent licencing agreement. An agreement that reportedly netted them $2 billion last year alone.
The evidence of Android being there at all is going to be hard to find, however, as Nokia are taking the Kindle Fire approach, whereby the skinning is heavy, the Play store and Google Services will be absent and there will be little or no third party developer support (but hopefully there won’t be an annoying Irish woman chatting to you about Candy Crush at the touch of a button!).
This Android powered Nokia seems destined for the emerging markets, and it’s doubtful that we’ll see it on the shelves in the UK, but I’m looking forward to seeing what Nokia’s take on Android will be like.
Can you see this mixed marriage working out? Let us know in the comments section below.
Image Source – @evleaks