Rumoured to be a successor to the Asha series of devices, Nokia is apparently preparing to launch its Android-based low cost devices at the Mobile World Congress event this year, according to the Wall Street Journal. The phone had repeatedly leaked out, with images of hardware and images of software, which point to a phone with a Windows Phone-like UI and Android underneath, enabling it to run Android apps. The “forked” Android OS, developed by Nokia, will feature Microsoft’s services prominently, not Google services or Play, which means that there will still be a distinct lack of Google apps on the platform. Previously brushed off as a improbable launch, especially after the Microsoft acquisition, it seems like the Nokia X aka Normandy will possibly be making a N9-style debut at MWC this year.

 

These are the supposed specifications of the Nokia Android phone –

  • 1 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor
  • 4inch WVGA display
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB internal storage
  • microSD card slot
  • 5MP camera
  • 1500mAh battery
  • dualSIM connectivity
  • 6 Color variants
  • Nokia Store + Third party apps

You can see that they resemble the Lumia 520 closely, which was a worldwide hit last year. But of course, this is set to replace the high end Asha, which is now based on a archaic Java platform. The software, unsurprisingly, will look a lot like Windows Phone, with a tiles-based UI and the interface workflow resembling the Asha 501′s home and fast lane. I had asked a question to Nokia CEO Stephen Elop last year on how Nokia plans to familiarize people with the Windows Phone UI at the low end, and I guess I got the answer here –

 

 

That’s reportedly the UI Nokia is going for, but it still remains to be seen how the device will compete alongside its own Lumia brothers. It’s like Nokia is going back to the Symbian days again, with its own UI over a open source OS, making its own hardware and having its own app store and services, but only this time, backed by Microsoft. The reason Nokia went Windows Phone was that it couldn’t do software quickly or efficiently enough, the Symbian and Meego operating systems were a bit late thanks to the bureaucracy inside Nokia, but is the mobile division returning back to its roots, with the Nokia Android phone? Or is it going to be a one-time wonder like the Nokia N9 and the series eventually killed off by Microsoft? Another theory is that if Microsoft itself is pushing for Android based devices for its low end strategy and keeping Windows Phone just for the high end? Too many questions, too little answers. Lets wait for the Mobile World Congress event for more!

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