Rumors and speculation continue to fire up regarding a Nokia Android smartphone that will be positioned underneath its Lumia series of Windows Phones, but with a twist – despite the possibility that the phone will run on Google’s Android OS, the device may still come with the look and feel of the Windows Phone user experience.
Recently leaked images and details suggest that the Nokia Android phone, which bears the internal codename Normandy, has similar fundamentals to some of Nokia’s lower-end Lumia phones. However, the photos also show that the UX/UI may be more akin to Windows Phone Live Tiles, and would make use of Microsoft and Nokia’s ecosystem, rather than that of Google Android. This appears to be a similar approach to the one taken for Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet series, which some have taken to calling “pseudo-Android.” While the Kindle Fire slates technically run on Android, they do not support the Google Play Store and other Android services; these services are replaced by Amazon’s own ecosystem, thus making the tablets distinct from other Android-powered tablets such as the Nexus 7 and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab family.
Popular opinion is calling Nokia’s move to release an Android-powered smartphone a peculiar one, considering that the Finnish company is currently in the process of being acquired by Microsoft. However, it would appear that the company wants to address some pain points in its portfolio of devices, such as the Series 40 family of devices and its variants thereof. Also, Nokia appears to be tapping once again into its key markets – emerging countries, including those in Southeast Asia, where Nokia remains a popular choice for consumers. Marketing a low-end Android phone to consumers from emerging markets is, if one would come to think of it, a sound move, as it provides an option for those who want to enjoy the Android phone experience without, as the saying goes, “breaking the bank.”
Op-eds also have suggested that Microsoft also could benefit from the Nokia Android phone strategy, and the Normandy’s upcoming launch and release. According to one particular op-ed from Mobile World Live’s Steve Costello, Microsoft has a lot to gain if things are looked at “pragmatically.” He opined that Microsoft could target entry-level device owners “with the potential aim of moving them up to a Windows Phone device in (the) future” once Microsoft’s buyout of Nokia is completed. This would, according to him, allow Microsoft to create “higher-value” consumers going forward, and potentially stimulate faster adoption of the Windows Phone platform through the indirect means of launching an entry-level Windows Phone-flavored Android device.