Incoming: a Nokia by Microsoft Lumia smartphone... running Android

Incoming: a Nokia by Microsoft Lumia smartphone... running AndroidWhat the...? OK, we can just about get on with the idea of Nokia's low-end Android smartphones. They're cheap, they don't really interfere with the Windows Phone business model, and Nokia was working on them already when the Microsoft buyout was agreed.

But according to the reliable @evleaks, Microsoft is also working on a full-blown Lumia handset running Android, which will bear the newly minted “Nokia by Microsoft” branding.

Think about it – this is a line of phones synonymous with Windows Phone – in fact, probably upwards of 95% of all smartphones sold in the WP era have been Lumias.

Not only that, but we're talking about an Android handset with Microsoft's name actually on the device – another key difference between this and the budget Nokia X/X+/XL/X2 family that emerged earlier this year.

By the way, for an early teaser of just how that Nokia by Microsoft branding might actually look, a render has popped up on WindowsBlogItalia's Facebook page. It's a fairly obvious design, so hard to tell whether it's legit or otherwise.

Anyway, back to the Android Lumia. So what gives? The point of the entry-level Android Nokias was to let users tap into Android but keep them using Microsoft and Nokia software and services by ringfencing the OS. So will this be the same deal or will the Lumia flavour of Android be unforked?

Surely not, all things considered, but then the whole idea sounds a bit crazy in the first place (then again so did the Nokia X, and that turned out to be real).

Could it even be a test of the waters by Microsoft to see if Windows Phone is worth persevering with as a standalone OS at all?

The platform still hasn't established itself as former boss Steve Ballmer was hoping despite billions of dollars spent in investment, marketing and incentives.

Could new man at the helm Satya Nadella be taking a more pragmatic approach to Microsoft's mobile platform, and be considering a change in strategy should the Nokia by Microsoft Lumia Android prove a hit?

There's plenty more to come on this one, folks...

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 1 comment

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 7, 2014 at 12:11

From what I understand the Nokia by Microsoft labelling was discovered in relation to
a phone marked Lumia 830 - a follow-up to the 820 (?)...

Well, we'll see.

Anyhoo... where's the big deal? Google was more than happy to put its services on iDevices - that is all Google cares about.
Microsoft could take the same approach. Or maybe not.


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