A report from earlier this year claimed that before agreeing to sell its Devices & Services division to Microsoft, some Nokia employees had loaded Android onto the Finnish firm's Lumia hardware. The status of the project at that time was a mystery, but according to a report that's surfaced this evening, work on an Android-powered Nokia device is still going strong.
Sources speaking to The Verge claim that Nokia is working on a device codenamed Normandy that runs a customized version of Android, similar to Amazon and its Kindle Fire tablets. The device is reportedly capable of running Skype and other top apps. An image of this Normandy device was posted by @evleaks last month, showing a handset with Nokia-esque styling and a single capacitive back button below its screen.
Nokia employees working on the Normandy project have reportedly been told that a 2014 release is in the cards, and it's said that work on the device is still "full steam ahead," despite Microsoft's plans to acquire Nokia's hardware business. It's said that the goal of the Normandy project is to create low-cost devices that are similar to Nokia's Asha line but that are capable of running full-on smartphone apps.
A Nokia-made smartphone running Android is one of the most frequently-requested products in mobile, and while the Normandy is reportedly running a tweaked version of Google's mobile platform, I'm betting it would still be an insta-buy for many smartphone fans if it were released. Whether or not that'll ever happen is still a mystery, though; Microsoft is planning to acquire Nokia's Devices & Services division, and after gaining approval from the Justice Department, European Commission and Nokia's shareholders, the deal looks like a lock. Nokia could try to push the Normandy out before it's acquired, but Microsoft has said that it expects the transaction to reach completion in early 2014, so Nokia would have to move pretty quickly to roll out the Normandy before its hardware division is snapped up.
What do you make of this Normandy leak? Would you buy a Nokia phone running a customized version of Android?