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Nokia was actively testing Android on Lumia before selling handset division to Microsoft

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“There is no Plan B. Plan B is for Plan A to succeed.”

Those words were spoken by a Nokia exec last year when analysts were doubting its choice of adopting Windows Phone OS.

Back in February of 2011 Microsoft and Nokia entered into a partnership that made Windows Phone “its primary smartphone strategy.” While Nokia reportedly represents over 80% of all the Windows Phone handsets sold, their market share has slowly declined.

Before Microsoft decided to spend a whopping $7.2 billion to purchase Nokia’s Devices & Services, Nokia was considering options – a ‘plan B’ of sorts. According to a report in the New York Times, Nokia was actively testing Android on Lumia devices.

“A team within Nokia had Android up and running on the company’s Lumia handsets well before Microsoft and Nokia began negotiating Microsoft’s $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s mobile phone and services business, according to two people briefed on the effort who declined to be identified because the project was confidential. Microsoft executives were aware of the existence of the project, these people said.”

Apparently within the partnership agreement there was an option to exit in 2014, which could have paved way for the release of an Android Lumia smartphone. However, those dreams have now faded away. Hopefully the Android-powered Nokia Lumia pops up on eBay soon.

Source: NYT

  • JB

    Not surprised. Lumia is non existent here. Have yet to see one. Wp8 is not appealing looking to most.

    • Alex

      Canada is particularly tough to crack because of the residual BlackBerry support that is stronger here than just about any other country.

    • deltatux

      Well, many WP8 phones I see in Toronto are in the hands of people with an entry level smartphone. I think Microsoft is having a tough time cracking the midrange and high end smartphone market, they seem to be doing all right in the budget area.

      Honestly, I think budget Android phones are a pain in the a*s to use, and I think others have found the same. That is one area WP manufacturers have noticed.

      The most common complaint I still get from people why they don’t move over to WP are: lack of apps, and lack of a notification centre.

      My brother loves his Huawei Ascend W1 and I’ve been playing with the device itself and it’s not a bad platform, still rough around the edges but has potential. Would I give up my Nexus and move over? Hell no, I love hacking my phone but if it’s for a business device, I don’t mind BB10 or WP8.

    • deltatux

      That’s true, exclusivity doesn’t always help manufacturers. Samsung learned that releasing the device on as many carriers as they can proved beneficial to them than just doing exclusives.

      Time will tell how the end of exclusivity would help boost Windows Phone. It didn’t help that the Samsung ATIV S didn’t launch on WIND and Mobilicity either and just stuck with the Big 3 and the Big 3 didn’t seem to really want to market the device which is a shame because when it was launched, it was my favourite WP device. Loved it more than the HTC Windows Phone 8X and a bit more than the Nokia 920 at the time.

    • Alex

      The budget end of the spectrum is where they can mop up. Competition is fewer and, in my opinion, of lesser quality. I don’t think lower end androids can compete with WP8 which is highly optimized. Lower end Lumias, the HTC 8S and the Ascend W1 give plenty of choice.

      Carrier exclusives, as always, make it harder to achieve. A more efficient update system/schedule would also be beneficial.

  • HelloCDN

    Well, the new Microsoft CEO has a really tough task ahead – Android is the Windows of mobile, so they’ll have to think differently this time. iOS is also not going away anywhere, despite what some of MobileSyrup comments may suggest.

    • superfly

      Ios is already gone. Been there, done that. Move over iPhone.

    • HelloCDN

      Yeah, people have been saying that every year since the launch of the iPhone… *yawn*

    • Darth Paton

      You say this now because Android is on top. Nothing lasts forever though, and therefore i definitely think WP has a future in the mobile industry.

    • HelloCDN

      I didn’t say it doesn’t, right? ;) I just said that it’s going to be really hard for them, they’re not used to playing catching up.

    • Poodz

      Yes Android is on top now. And it will stay that way until WP can convince people to switch. Being “just as good” won’t do that.

    • PT

      Without the Apps … no go! Nobody cares what OS now a day. Just the apps that’s counts. Only iOS and Android deliver that.

    • Marcus Brown

      This argument about the lack of apps on WP is really weak. Sure there are some popular first party apps missing but as a whole those holes that were gaping a year ago are not significantly smaller. More and more developers are releasing WP versions of their apps and the marketplace is fuller every week. Its terribly shortsighted of most people here to think that app parity cannot be reached by WP. Android had to do it and so can WP. Only reason BB couldn’t do it is the lack of money to compete. MSFT has the money and infrastructure to do so and the proof is in the pudding.

    • Alex

      What apps are you missing?

    • realitycheck

      Its not just missing apps. Its the updates to the apps as well. Many apps are not up to date in refinement and functionality. Not that MS isnt trying, look at the youtube app fiasco.

    • Sweet

      Yep. Since Android hit the market, only one company (Samsung) has ever made any money selling Android phones, and that company is working on replacing Android with Tizen. I even recently read a rumour that HTC was working on their own platform.

    • realitycheck

      The moment Samsung does that, they’re done in the mobile space. Samsung OWES it to Google for being this popular.

    • Sweet

      Tizen can run Android apps natively. So Samsung is definitely not done if they switch to Tizen.

    • realitycheck

      if you think its only apps are what what makes android good, you are dead wrong.

    • Sweet

      I never said that, nor implied it.

  • John Miguel Lopes Vieira

    Oh yeah. developers had Android 4.0 running on the N9. Actual support from Nokia would have been awesome. The hardware is so nice, I would totally be using an Android Nokia phone right now. IF it looked as nice as the N9

  • manutd

    A nokia running android would have blown every competitor away. Coz admit it, you know that no one makes cellphones of better quality than nokia. and android would have made everyone turn back to nokia in a heartbeat

    • Yulet

      I guess you’ve never heard of “Sony”, their phones are the best but they’re not good at marketing and upgrading their phones.

    • realitycheck

      Sony is getting better for sure but best they are not.

  • p_lindsay

    Of course they were testing Android, and that’s exactly why MS bought them.

  • PT

    That’s too bad for Nokia. they should have swiched to Android from the beginning .
    Nokia makes super solid phone out there. Just chosen a wrong path.

  • S2556

    I really do like Nokia hardware. Would have been nice to get one with android. I think they would be in a different position financially had they gone android instead of wp in the beginning. Oh well one can dream

  • MXH070

    Old softy had to buy nokia or lose its market share completely. Window phones will disappear in the next few years….

    • MXH070

      The only Lumia selling is the low low end 520 no money to make in that market. That’s why nokia was looking to jump off the USS WP ship before it ran into that iceberg called reality.

    • Drewskie

      Like Mike said where do you get your numbers from? WP and Nokia have posted positive growth year over year for the last 2 years. Nokia makes better phones than any other OEM. What, because they don’t run Android it automatically means their stuff is garbage?

      Also Nokia is not just selling 520 and 620, they sell quite a lot of 920 and now in the US they’re selling a lot of 928 and 925

      I think Apple needs a reality check.

  • Ryan C

    search NEWKIA.

  • Mr.R

    Checkout NewKia. Those Employees Joined in there. I am sure there will be a Lumidroid !!

    Twitter @senthzalravi

  • disqusmy

    This Nokia CEO tries to get a higher price from Microsoft to buy Nokia by showing testing of Android device. He knows if he actually change it, Nokia will be gone.

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