Wild rumours? Nokia is said to be planning an Android fork for Asha replacement
Certainly you'd be wrong about the Nokia’s motivations before the Microsoft buyout was agreed. As we wrote at the time, a Nokia that wasn’t actively preparing a plan ‘B’ would have been in deriliction of its duty to shareholders, employees and just about everyone else.
And of course it has since emerged that Nokia certainly was tinkering with Android as the sales of its Windows Phone Lumia range stubornly refused to climb. Why wouldn’t it?
But the big revelation doing the rounds today is that the tinkering at some point turned into a solid plan that may even continue under Microsoft’s stewardship - unless the Microsoft bigwigs decide to stop it before it comes to fruition.
Nokia is reported to be seriously on the way to launching a phone range based on forked version of open source Android, similar to the way Amazon has utilised Android.
A low end Android handset, codenamed ‘Normandy’ and apparently based closely on a Lumia smartphone has been unearthed, very much alive still and ready to go.
According to The Verge, unless someone high up in Microsoft steps in to stop it, the plan is to replace Nokia’s low-end Asha range which is struggling in the developing markets it’s been aimed at, principally because of a lack of apps.
For both marketing and technical reason the Lumia/Windows phone combination won’t do - the technology doesn’t scale down in price enough to make it a contender for the low end.
But app shortage wouldn’t be a problem with Android, or even a fork of it, as Nokia would be able to convince developers to port over apps to stock out its download store. And the technology can be squeezed down into a low-cost package.