Nokia Is Building A Low-Cost Android-Powered Smartphone [Rumor]

How stock Android may look on a Lumia.

How stock Android may look on a Lumia.

Nokia may be tucked up in bed with Microsoft, but that hasn’t stopped the Finnish firm from exploring other opportunities for its smartphone business. We’ve all been itching for the company to launch an Android-powered device with a trademark Lumia design, but will our wishes be granted?

Possibly. According to sources familiar with the company’s plans, Nokia is working on a budget Android-powered smartphone — but if it isn’t released Microsoft snaps up its smartphone business, then the handset may never see the light of day.

The smartphone, codenamed “Normandy” internally, is intended to be an alternative to Nokia’s low-cost Asha family, which is struggling to gain traction with its existing Series 40 operating system. However, Nokia’s version of Android is likely to be vastly different to what we’re already used to.

“We understand that Nokia has been testing “Normandy” with a special “forked” variant of Android that’s not aligned with Google’s own version, akin to what Amazon does with its Kindle Fire line,” explains Tom Warren of The Verge.

The device is expected to run popular Android apps, however — and it’s likely they’ll be distributed through Google Play rather than a Nokia-built Android marketplace like Amazon’s Appstore.

Sources say that Nokia is planning to release Normandy in 2014; one insider described its efforts as “full steam ahead,” The Verge reports. However, the handset’s fate may not be decided by Nokia.

If Microsoft goes ahead with its rumored Nokia buyout before Normandy hits the market, it’s likely the software giant will scrap the plan in favor of entry-level Windows Phone devices.