This one’s pretty interesting. For a while now, we’ve heard of Nokia ‘Normandy’, a codename for an upcoming(?) device that raised a number of questions regarding Nokia’s future in the mobile space as it related to their divestment of the Devices & Sales division. Many speculations seemed to point to this being Nokia’s first Android phone, targeted at the low-cost segment, and running a ‘forked’ version of the operating system not unlike what Amazon does with their Kindle tablets. Today, we may have gotten our first look at Nokia Normandy.
It looks very much like an Asha device. The device appears to have a full polycharbonate unibody design with up to 6 colors to choose from, including a nice Seafoam green (at least that’s what I’d call it). The edges are slightly rounded while the sides are flat and slightly tapered in the back. We’re given the usual ‘Nokia’ moniker atop the bezel and on the back of the device, with no indication of a front facing camera and the rear-camera seems lacking of an LED flash unit. At the bottom part of the bezel below the screen, we find a single capacitive navigation button, similar to what we find on newer Asha touch screen phones like the 503. On the bottom of the unit seems to be where the micro-USB port is located, with volume control and what appears to be a lock button on one side of the device. Interestingly, there is no camera button, an unusual omission for Nokia who puts much pride in its inclusion on most of its devices (unlike many other handset makers).
What is interesting about this leak is that the rumors that this is an Android phone also seemed to lead to the speculation that work on any Android devices has been ultimately cancelled, mainly due to Nokia’s handset division being sold to Microsoft early next year. And yet, here we are with a press shot of the device, suggesting that either Nokia hasn’t given up on its plans to release an Android phone, or they got pretty far with it until the plans were ultimately scraped. Regardless, it would have been pretty cool to see what Nokia would have done with this, potentially using it to keep the company involved as a handset maker while Microsoft reaps all the benefits of its new hardware division. The ‘forked’ Android would have also been an interesting play for Nokia. According to fellow NI writer, Parasaran (@paraasaran), there are two ways that Google’s Android operating system are used:
“Open handset Alliance (OHA) is used by Samsung and LG, which is said to be the official method of using Android. The forked way of using the Android is quite the opposite, something similar to the Amazon Kindle HD’s OS which technically runs Android but doesn’t have the Google Play and other Google’s main Services.”
With Nokia having experience with its own home-grown OS and software, I could see how they would use a forked Android to bolster use of Nokia services like HERE Maps over Google’s own apps and software. Normandy has been dubbed the “Asha of Android”, so the OS could be similar to Asha software platform, but would instead be part of the world’s leading mobile operating system.
Do you think Nokia should continue with their plans to release an Android device?
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