Nokia’s Android phone will reportedly see store shelves: WSJ

Daniel Bader

February 10, 2014 8:38pm

According to the Wall Street Journal, Nokia’s Android phone, Nokia X, will be announced at Mobile World Congress later this month. Though it in no way poses a threat to Apple and Samsung, the so-called ‘Normady‘ phone could be the first of many moves to shut down the remaining vestiges of Symbian in favour of another open-source, yet much more powerful mobile operating system.

Though Nokia already sells a number of low-cost Windows Phones, with the Lumia 520 approaching that coveted $99 price point, it makes sense that it would fork Android and use Microsoft’s cloud services, along with a curated set of ported Android apps, to offer dumbphone users a chance to upgrade to a smartphone at an extremely low cost.

While Nokia X, or whatever the company happens to call Normady, will certainly not be released in North America, it may also have a very limited impact on the smartphone market. The project has likely long been in Nokia’s playbook, even before it was purchased by Microsoft; its parent company may shut down the venture as soon as it is absorbed into the company.

Nevertheless, we’ll be awaiting news of further Android plans by Nokia, as the company is likely to market this as they would any other product. And because it forks Android, Google won’t see any revenue from its various cloud services that display advertising.

  • bmaz

    I will take them serious when there is a version 2. This could be another N9 debacle all over again.

  • Victor_Creed

    Not even news worthy IMO

  • NOT RahmEmanuel

    Never hurts to try something new, but given Nokia’s situation I see just two interesting facets to this story:

    1. Have Nokia done the backend work necessary to position Normandy as a genuine ‘budget’ AOSP smartphone or something more akin to their underperforming Asha models…a glorified featurephone?

    2. Will this thing support CM or any decent, 3rd-party Android ROM?

    • Josh Brown

      As long as the boot loader is unlocked and the release the kernel source, the yes it could work with cm.

  • Todd Forgrave

    Call me dumb, but why can’t Canada Have some of these cheaper version phones?
    It seems every ther country in the world gets them, but Canada is stuck with in general 3 models of phones under 200$ {Ace, Moto G, htc desirec} at least in new brunswick.
    not everyone wants to pny up a 2 year 600$+ risk on a limited breaking budget.
    but I am young and dumb, so i suppose thats what Rogers/fido/virgin/bell/pc/telus/koodo want us to be anyways

    • wes

      There’s a few cheaper options out there that’ll give you very good user experiences:
      Android: Moto G @ 150$ with Koodo
      Windows: Nokia 625 @ 225$ with Fido or 200$ with Telus
      iOS: you’re out of luck

      For the price, I wouldn’t scoff at these two options. Other android phones at 200$ aren’t worth it, because the internal specs are garbage.

  • Lyndon Boychuk

    Poor Nokia… I doubt anyone in their right mind will take this Android phone seriously… especially since it’s a forked version and owned by ms now. Unless you get to experience all of Google’s goodness, this will most likely be a flop. I wouldn’t be surprised if this turns out to be the first Android phone that Google completely turns their back on.

    • wes

      If it’s cheap enough non-techie people will buy it in 3rd world countries. It’s geared towards 3rd world countries.

      Like you, I can’t wait to see Google’s reaction!

    • Patrick Cuyegkeng

      There are already several devices that run Android but are not “Google Play certified”, though the majority of them are tablets/ereader devices. B&N Nook, all of the Amazon Kindle Fires, the old Kobo tablets, etc. It is likely the first phone from a major manufacturer that could fall into that category, but that is the nature of open-source. Anyone is free to fork Android if they want to. Amazon has shown this can be successful (and they are consistently being rumoured to launch a phone, which would surely also run Fire OS or whatever their fork is called). I’m sure there was fear that Samsung could have done the same before the cross licensing agreements.

      Microsoft’s goal for this type of device could be the same goal as Samsung has with Tizen. Get people hooked on your UI and your ecosystem, and give them a consistent experience across devices regardless of how much money they spend. A Tizen-powered phone looks extremely similar to any modern TouchWiz powered Samsung device. Microsoft could groom the Normandy as the entry-level transition into Lumia devices.