Nokia has denied reports it is developing a smartphone that runs on Google’s Android operating system, a move that would mark a major change in strategy for the Symbian-supporting vendor. Earlier today The Guardian reported that the world’s largest handset manufacturer will unveil an Android device at the Nokia World conference in September. However, a Nokia spokesman later told Reuters that there is “absolutely no truth to this whatsoever,” adding that “everyone knows that Symbian is our preferred platform for advanced mobile devices.” A move to Android certainly seems unlikely, especially in light of Nokia’s efforts last year to buy-out its partners in Symbian amid plans to make the platform free of charge to other manufacturers in an attempt to see off the threat posed by other open-source operating systems. Nokia is currently not a member of the Open Handset Alliance – a consortium of companies committed to commercially deploying handsets and services using the Android platform – at least according to the alliance’s website. The majority of Nokia’s rivals (including LG, Samsung, HTC, Huawei, Sony Ericsson and Motorola) are members.

In separate Android news, apparent details of Sony Ericsson’s first Android-based smartphone have been posted online, under the codename of ‘Rachael.’ Reports suggest the phone will be marketed under the Xperia range and will be based on Qualcomm’s QSD8250 Snapdragon platform. The HSPA-enabled phone is also reported to sport an 8-megapixel camera with autofocus and a large screen reaching 4 inches across the diagonal. Launch is expected later this year. To date, only Samsung and HTC have commercially launched Android-based handsets.