Nokia is preparing to unveil its first Android phone later this month. The Wall Street Journal reports that Nokia will unveil its “Normandy” phone at Mobile World Congress later this month. Citing sources familiar with Nokia’s plans, the WSJ reiterates previous reports from The Verge that Nokia’s first Android phone will use a modified “forked” version of Google’s operating system. The effort is similar to Amazon’s use of Android for its Kindle range of tablets, and Nokia is expected to integrate Microsoft services onto the device with a special application store for some existing Android apps.
Nokia has scheduled a press event later this month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, hinting only at “meet us under the tree.” The Finnish smartphone maker also recently teased an upcoming Windows Phone announcement, but The Verge understands Nokia will not focus heavily on its future Windows Phone plans at Mobile World Congress. Instead, Nokia will reportedly detail its Android “Normandy” phone, which is expected to be named “Nokia X” once it starts shipping. With a lack of Google Play Store access on Nokia’s Android phone, the company may be forced to focus on any apps it has managed to successfully port to its forked version of Android.
Previous leaks have revealed that Nokia’s Android device includes a Windows Phone-like UI, and can run Android apps like Skype, Twitter, Vine, Facebook, and BBM. Photos of what appears to be a near-final unit of the “Normandy” Android phone have also appeared, showing a handset that looks similar to Nokia’s low-end Windows Phone devices. While Microsoft continues to target low-cost with Windows Phone, Nokia’s Android phone will also focus on this market with low-end specifications like just 4GB of storage and 512MB of RAM. Nokia’s Mobile World Congress press event takes place on February 24th, and we’ll be there to bring you the latest on Normandy.