In order to increase its presence in the sub $120 market (see Lumia 520 for Rs. 8850, i.e. US$ 144 in India, and US$121.5 in China) it is obvious that Nokia should take the next step in its Asha Software Platform Strategy with its recent stance being the following one:
More information: Q3’13 smartphone and overall mobile phone markets: Android smartphones surpassed 80% of the market, with Samsung increasing its share to 32.1% against Apple’s 12.1% only; while Nokia achieved a strong niche market position both in “proper” (Lumia) and “de facto” (Asha Touch) smartphones [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Nov 14, 2013]
That is a definite gap exists in Nokia offerings between US$75 and US$120. Also this gap could only be filled with an Android forked offering only. Therefore we should (first time during the whole existence of this trend-tracking blog) take seriously the ongoing rumors about such an offering, the so called Nokia Normandy project., despite all uncertainties of not only the Microsoft takeover of the Nokia device business, but also the uncertainties about the next CEO of Microsoft and the company strategy in smartphones which will come as the result of that selection.
I should include here the latest summary about that from Wikipedia as it “is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedia’s deletion policy”:
Nokia Normandy [Wikipedia excerpt, Jan 17, 2014]
The Normandy, previously known as ‘Project N’, the ‘Asha on Linux project’ and “MView”, is a low-end Android device under development by Nokia.
Described as a potential “game changer”, the project has garnered substantial interest from the media, including coverage from New York Times, Engadget,Stuff, Forbes, Gizmodo, The Verge, CNET and The Times of India.
- Manufacturer: Nokia
- Series: unknown; possibly Asha
- Type: Smartphone
- Form factor: Slate
- Operating system: Modified Android KitKat 4.4.1
- System on chip: Believed to be a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 8225Q
- CPU: Either 1.0 GHz dual-core or unspecified quad-core Qualcomm
- Display: 4″, 854 x 480
- Rear camera: 5MP
Despite choosing the Windows Phone operating system for its smartphones (The Lumia series), Nokia had experimented with the Android platform in the past. Images of a Nokia N9 running Android 2.3 were leaked in 2011. They were believed to be likely genuine, as Steven Elop had mentioned Nokia had considered Android in the past.
On 13 September 2013, the New York Times writer Nick Wingfield revealed that Nokia had been testing the Android operating system on its Lumia hardware, and a second project, known as ‘Asha on Linux’ used a forked version of Android without Google services.
The Chinese technology site CTechnology revealed that, despite the announced merger of Nokia’s handset division with Microsoft, development of the project was continuing until November and 10,000 prototype units had been manufactured by Foxconn containing a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 8225Q chip.
However, a new report by Tom Warren from The Verge on 11 December 2013 showed the Asha-like device, codenamed ‘Normandy’ for the first time, stating that despite the finalisation of the acquisition, development of the device is continuing. AllThingsD suggested that Microsoft may not actually axe development on the device.
A further report by CTechnology on the 14th December claims that the device development had been halted, along with an Android-based 7-inch Snapdragon 400 tablet. The two projects were, it was claimed, to have been created by Nokia’s CTO division which is not being acquired by Microsoft, with Peter Skillman, the head of UX Design, at the helm of the UI design. The report claims wearable devices are the new focus of the CTO division.
According to NokiaPowerUser, the device is dual-sim with a 4-inch display, stating that the model number is RM-980, and has a 640×360 resolution. In a second report, they suggest the device may be a member of the Asha range as team was headed by Egil Kvaleberg (from Smarterphone) and UI lead by Peter Skillman (who worked on the Asha Platform‘s Swipe UI).
A leak on the ITHome technology website showed a blurred image of the phone, and the app drawer of its’ UI in operation, confirming it is a dual sim device. However, no Nokia logos were found on the device.
Two new photos of the Engineering prototype were once again leaked, and the device is widely expected to be released at MWC 2014. One shows a different app launcher to one in a previous leak, suggesting it is a placeholder.
On 13 January 2014, a press photo showing the tile-like UI of the home screen was leaked, and was accompanied by a screenshot of the Asha platform‘s Fastlane-style notification centre the next day.
According to Eldar Murtazin, Microsoft is not keen on the idea, mentioning there are “too many politics” around the project. He claims, if it is released at all, it will have to be in February, before Nokia’s devices acquisition is finalised.
- Nokia Normandy surfaces online: A game changer in Android domain?
- Rumored Nokia Normandy prototype surfaces on Twitter, reveals little
- Nokia Normandy – an Android phone with Lumia DNA | Stuff
- Microsoft Should Embrace Nokia’s Android Project – Forbes
- Nokia’s Alleged Normandy Android Phone Leaks | Gizmodo UK
- Staff, Verge (2013-12-10). “This is Nokia’s Android phone”. The Verge. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
- Nokia’s version of Android looks sleek in leaked pics | CNET UK
- Nokia Android phone Normandy’s photo leaked – The Times of India
- Savov, Vlad. (24 June 2011) Nokia’s Android flirtations revealed. Engadget.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-14.
- Nokia still working on Android phone, won’t cancel until November. Foxconn already made 10K prototypes. Unwired View (2013-09-19). Retrieved on 2013-11-27.
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- ^ CTECH (2013-12-14). “诺基亚已放弃 Android 手机/平板计划，未来将力推穿戴式设备 | C科技”. Ctechcn.com. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
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- Image of Nokia’s Android phone prototype Normandy leaked [Update with Android skin UI] – Neowin
- Nokia ‘Normandy’ budget Android phone purportedly leaked in multiple images – NDTV Gadgets
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