Remember there was a leak regarding a Nokia phone codenamed ‘Normandy’? Yes, the very same phone which was a purported Asha smart feature phone, but now The Verge reports that the device was actually a Nokia device running a forked version of Android targeting the low-cost smartphone market.
The idea behind the device was to get the applications that Nokia was unable to get onboard its fledging Asha platform. The device, like Amazon’s Kindle tablets was bereft of Google services and basically ran Nokia’s services but had the capability to run Android apps. The main idea was to solve the app problem.
Notably, if one looks at leaked image of the device, which was published by @Evleaks a few weeks back, there is no provision for hardware or capacitive buttons. This points towards Android being the operating system which has support for software keys, that change according to the orientation of the smartphone.
The report states that the development for the phone was ‘full steam ahead’, but now that Microsoft is buying Nokia’s Devices unit, it remains to be seen if the product will make it to the market considering it runs Android.
Even if it makes it to the market it will have to see light of day before the Nokia-Microsoft deal is completed. Additionally, even if the phone is launched it will probably the only one of its kind as Microsoft will likely kill all projects related to Android and focus on its own Windows Phone platform and perhaps Nokia’s smart-feature phone software platform Asha.