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Jan 5, 2014

Nokia Normandy with “Forked” Android Launching at MWC 2014




Nokia fans disappointed by the fact the Finnish company did not choose Android as its main mobile operating system will be pleased to know that their wish may come true within the next few months.

There's no secret anymore Nokia is currently working hard to bring its first Android handset on the market in order to be able to better compete on the low-budget smartphone market. Nokia Normandy leaked several weeks ago, but soon afterwards reports claiming the Finnish handset maker may have already killed the project surfaced online. According to @evleaks though, “the reports of Normandy's death have been greatly exaggerated.” Another report coming BGR India claims Nokia's project Normandy is “going full steam ahead” and the smartphone might be officially unveiled next month at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2014. Even though we initially thought Microsoft would interfere with Normandy's launch soon after Nokia's acquisition is completed, sources close to the matter claim the Redmond-based company is on board with Nokia's launch of Android devices.

The reason Microsoft has nothing against Nokia Normandy is that Android platform enables the company to better compete on the budget-friendly smartphone, something that the Asha series will not be able to do indefinitely. In addition, Nokia won't be forced to pay any royalties to Microsoft for using the Android platform, which is another positive aspect of having at least a few Android devices available on the market. However, the main issue for Nokia is the fact that the Normandy won't offer access to Google Play Store, the largest ecosystem of Android applications and games.

Due to the fact the smartphone will run a “forked” Android version that looks very much like the Asha OS, it won't include Google Play and other Google services. Instead, Nokia plans to build its own apps store from ground up, which will initially include some of the most popular mobile applications available on Android platform. Several top developers have already been approached by Nokia to bring their apps on the Normandy and most of them claimed their current apps available on Google Play Store were 80% compatible with Nokia's “forked” Android platform. They still needed to make minor adjustments in order for their apps to be fully compatible with the operating system, but the fact still remains that sideloading Android apps on the Nokia Normandy won't be too much of an issue.

It is also worth mentioning Nokia Normandy won't ship with Google Maps, Gmail or Google Search, instead users will be offered Nokia Maps, Outlook and Bing. However, they will still have to option to configure their Gmail accounts or choose Google Search as their main search engine. If Normandy will become popular in emerging markets such as India, Nokia and Microsoft are expected to launch more Android devices later this year, which will probably replace the Finnish company's Asha series of handsets or at least will provide Nokia fans with more options when it comes with mobile platforms.

Nokia Normandy
Image credits to evleaks

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