Nokia Android speculation continues; gains Windows Phone look – Mobile World Live

Nokia Android speculation continues; gains Windows Phone look

22 JAN 2014

There was continued speculation that Nokia will offer an Android-powered device positioned below its Windows Phone portfolio, although the latest reports seem to indicate that the device will share a family resemblance to its Microsoft-powered siblings.

According to what are purported to be leaked images, the device – codenamed Normandy – has hardware which fits with the company’s Lumia portfolio. But more interestingly, it features a user interface that looks more like Windows Phone’s tiles, and includes Microsoft and Nokia’s services placed front and centre – including Skype and Here Maps.

This is similar to the path Amazon has followed with its Kindle Fire devices, which see Google’s services stripped-out in favour of the online retailer’s own propositions. While this enables it to benefit from a large degree of commonality with Android – it previously said that 75 per cent of Android apps work on its platform with no additional work – it also effectively gives it its own platform with reduced influence from Google, and differentiated from other Android vendors.

While it has widely been perceived as odd that a company set to be acquired by Microsoft is set to bring an Android-powered smartphone to market, such a move would help Nokia address a shortcoming in Nokia’s portfolio – the weakness of its aging Series 40 platform and its variants when compared to Android.

By looking to leverage existing support for Android across the board – from components through to its developer base – it will be able to deliver a more compelling proposition than by going it alone.

And looking at it pragmatically, Microsoft stands to gain a lot from such a strategy. On a device level, it will enable it to target entry-level smartphone users with the potential aim of moving them up to a Windows Phone device in future within the Nokia brand – creating higher-value users.

But, perhaps more significantly, it will enable it to bring new users to Microsoft’s content and services, including customers coming online for the first time. This is a similar strategy to that of Google with Android – to bring new customers into the fold at the earliest opportunity, in the hope of driving loyalty as they move up through the smartphone ranks.


Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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