WSJ confirms Nokia Normandy will be announced at MWC 2014 on February 24

WSJ confirms Nokia Normandy will be announced at MWC 2014 on February 24

Still not convinced Nokia really is about to unveil an Android smartphone? You're not alone, believe me, but it may be time to finally accept that it's definitely happening, and happening soon.

That's what the Wall Street Journal says, with an unnamed source having confirmed the entry-level Android device – known currently as the Nokia Normandy or the Nokia X – will be unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 24.

There were plenty of rumours to that effect already, of course, but having a big hitter like the WSJ nail its colours to the mast must surely remove what little doubt there still was.

The WSJ's sources confirm that the Normandy has been in development since before Nokia agreed to sell its mobile phone business to Windows Phone partner Microsoft.

The handset will be a low-end smartphone primarily targeted at developing markets, and - contrary to what some previous rumours have suggested - will run a forked version of Android that promotes Nokia and Microsoft's software and services and cuts off access to the mainstream Google Play.

Most doubts calling into question the Normandy's existence have centred around the apparent lack of sense for Microsoft to green-light a smartphone running a rival OS after having paid several billion to take ownership of Nokia in the first place.

But, the WSJ argues, setting the Normandy loose at the low end of the smartphone market will ease the pressure on Windows Phone to make inroads on an arena dominated entirely by Android, contributing much needed sales volumes to support Windows Phone's efforts at the premium end of the market.

The question, of course – and it's one nobody has an answer to as yet – is whether the Normandy will be a one-off to hold the fort while Microsoft prepares a more meaningful assault on the low end with Windows Phone, or whether we'll see further Nokia hardware running Android in the future.

It's not that far fetched an idea, when you think about it: yes, it boosts Android's user numbers over Windows Phone's, but it also boosts the number of people using Microsoft's and Nokia's own services, with the potential for them then to step up into the more premium Windows Phone ecosystem in the future.

Whether people would actually do that is another debate altogether, of course. For now, though, we'll call the Normandy a dead cert for February 24 and take it from there.

Read more about: Android

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 1 comment

JanSt / MOD  Feb. 11, 2014 at 12:22

I wonder... if those rumours are true, this is weird. Weirder than launching the 808 with Symbian. Weirder than that awful 503 Asha...
No access to the Play Store, no Google services, 2011 midrange specs... And instead of just Google, you get Microsoft as well to screw you data/privacy-wise... What's not to like?

This would only have made any sense with a good Pureview camera - which would require a better processor etc.

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