Nokia might be a company that’s now pretty much been swallowed up by Microsoft, but they have dabbled with Android in the past and throughout 2014 we’ve already seen the Nokia X and the X2 line launch with Android onboard. Sure, this isn’t the Google Android that we’re all pretty familiar with, but Android is Android, even if it’s outdated and dressed up like Windows Phone. Even though Nokia Lumia devices, arguably the only recognizable Windows Phone handsets, will soon be marketed as just “Microsoft” devices, there’s rumor that Nokia is looking to release yet another Android smartphone. This time though, the rumors are pointing to something more substantial than the Nokia X and X2 lines were.
According to a report out of China, Nokia could be working on a “flagship level” Android device that they would release through an ODM, or Original Design Manufacturer. As such, said device would be Nokia through and through in all but name. Microsoft currently own a 10-year brand license on the Nokia naming, but the handset division is still apparently free to release devices through other channels. Still, I can’t really see Microsoft being happy with their new pet releasing Android devices, especially as Satya Nadella, their new CEO, is keen to turn things around at Microsoft and deliver a more unified brand experience.
It would be nice to see that Android flagship that many of us hoped for ever since the news came that Nokia was to give up on Symbian, and with the rumor that the team behind the N9 is working on this mysterious device, it could all be too good to be true. There’s certainly a market for producing Android devices with some of the best specs you can and then selling it for as little as possible, but with Nokia’s handset business now under Microsoft’s wing I can’t see their being too much traction here. Sure, the Nokia X and X2 line both use Microsoft services, but it does cause some brand confusion when the company is also constantly trying to sell more and more affordable Lumia handsets running Windows Phone. This is one rumor to take with a healthy amount of salt, but it sure would be interesting to see what Nokia (or at least those that used to work on Nokia devices) could do with Android when they use some of the best hardware available.