Nokia is reported to release an Android-powered smartphone at the Mobile World Congress 2014, according to the Wall Street Journal (registration required).
The long-waited Android-powered Nokia smartphone will be "tailored in a way that won't promote some of the key Google-developed features that a more traditional Android-powered phone might", according to sources cited by the WSJ. Basically, the Nokia devices will not be compatible with the Google Play store and a number of applications.
Although it appears that this is good news for Android fans, it must be noted that this Android-powered smartphone from Nokia will be specially tailored so that a number of Google features will be not be heavily promoted.
The device will feature apps from Microsoft and Nokia like the Here map service and Mix Radio instead of the Google apps like Maps and Gmail. Nokia will also have its own app store with its own Android apps.
In the past, it has been reported that Nokia was working on this Android fork back when Microsoft was still preparing to make an offer. Microsoft has been said to have a couple of reasons for using Android along with the Windows Phone OS, which includes the need to use Nokia's manufacturing power and to offset some of the high costs of running a mobile division.According to the WSJ, another reason is the fact that Windows Phone cannot pull off to run on low-end devices which forces Microsoft to be pragmatic and utilise software made by its competitor for its mid-range and entry-level smartphones.
In the past weeks, reports revealed an almost complete image of the Nokia Android-powered smartphone codenamed Normandy. The reported device sports entry-level specifications and a design that mimics the Asha line. On the software front, the Nokia's UI is created as a hybrid between Windows Phone and Android.
Nokia Normandy Specs and Features
According to the reliable leakster, @evleaks, the Normandy hardware is similar to the Nokia Lumia 520 in a myriad of ways. He tweeted, "Nokia X: 2 x 1GHz Snapdragon, 4" WVGA, 512MB / 4GB / microSD, 5MP, 1500MAh, Nokia Store + 3rd party, dual-SIM, 6 colours." With these specs, the Nokia Normandy is expected to be a low-cost Windows Phone that could be easily priced in the $50 to $99 range.
Nokia X: 2 x 1GHz Snapdragon, 4" WVGA, 512MB / 4GB / microSD, 5MP, 1500MAh, Nokia Store + 3rd party, dual-SIM, 6 colors.
— @evleaks (@evleaks) January 28, 2014
The dual-SIM support and relatively meagre hardware further support the premise that the Normandy will supplant Nokia's Asha line of entry-level smartphones.
Thus far, Nokia already sent out invites for the upcoming MWC event, which is scheduled in Feb 24. The said event is likely a safe bet for the launch of the Normandy. Also, the theme of the event is "Under the Tree," which is a possible clue to the commercial name of the forthcoming Nokia's forked Android implementation.