We may finally may able to put the rumors about Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) releasing an Android phone to rest. The Wall Street Journal cites sources who say the struggling Finnish company will launch an Android smartphone this month, just as it finishes the sale of its devices division to Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).
Nokia develops Android phone
According to the publication, engineers at Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) were busily developing the Android handset while Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) was doing due diligence on its $7.4 billion offer for Nokia’s handset business. The sources reportedly said Nokia was targeting emerging markets with the Android smartphone and making it in such a way that doesn’t promote some of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s more prominent features the way most Android phones do.
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Instead, it would feature a suite of alternative options developed by Microsoft and Nokia, like Nokia’s Here Maps. This strategy could be compared to Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s strategy in creating its Kindle Fire tablets which are built on the Android framework but don’t feature all of Google’s offerings.
Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) is expected to show off the handset at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Why Nokia could be developing an Android phone
According to the site’s sources, the move comes for a few reasons. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been struggling to gain a foothold in the increasingly competitive handset industry as Windows Phone as fallen short. Also Windows Phone reportedly doesn’t work with the lower end technology used in making less expensive phones because of the technical requirements involved.
Satya Nadella, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s newly selected CEO, has historically bucked culture at the company in favor of decisions which are more profitable. An Android handset from Nokia—which soon will come under the Microsoft name—may seem like the company is conceding defeat. However, it could provide a way for Microsoft to get a chunk of the market. In addition, by loading it with Microsoft’s and Nokia’s services, the companies could get more users.