Should everything go smoothly, Microsoft's buyout of Nokia's mobile phone business should be complete sometime early this year, but that isn't stopping rumors of an Android-powered Nokia smartphone from hitting left and right. It was just yesterday that we were treated to a sneakily snapped picture of the device, which was outfitted with something of a protective shell. Today we're seeing the same device pop up in a new leaked image, but this time it looks a little bit different. The picture, which was posted to Chinese website Weibo, shows the suspected Nokia Normandy without its protective shell while also giving us a look at what appears to be the device's homescreen.
One glimpse at the image and it becomes clear that this isn't the Android we're used to. If anything, it looks more like a mash up between Android and Windows Phone, which probably shouldn't come as much of a shock given Nokia's penchant for making Windows Phone devices. Past rumors have claimed that Nokia was planning on rolling with a forked version of Android for the Normandy - meaning the company performed its own independent development on the Android source code - and this image sure does back up those claims. Regardless, we imagine a lot of Nokia fans will be pleased to see an Android handset from the company, forked Android or otherwise.
But that's the rub - will the Normandy ever see the light of day? Should the regulatory process go Microsoft's way, the buyout of Nokia's mobile phone division could be just a couple of months away from being a done deal. It's hard to imagine Microsoft would allow Nokia to put out an Android handset when Android is one the of the mobile OSes keeping Windows Phone down. It's a possibility that what we're seeing is a now-abandoned prototype Nokia was working on before buyout talks with Microsoft entered serious territory, or maybe this is a handset Nokia plans to release before the buyout is finalized?
Maybe Microsoft has decided to let Nokia develop an Android-based handset anyway? While we have a hard time believing that one, we suppose anything is possible. Regardless of what actually happens with this device, it's fascinating to see that Nokia was at least tossing around the idea of an Android-powered handset at one point in time. Keep your fingers crossed, Nokia fans, but keep in mind that it's probably best to take anything you hear about the Normandy with a grain of salt until we get official word from Nokia. Stay tuned.