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Nokia Android phone was in the works before Microsoft bought the company


News by Andrew Kameka on Friday September 13, 2013.

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Microsoft spent billions of dollars to purchase Nokia, the leading manufacturer of Windows Phone handsets, but it may have been a necessity considering that Nokia explored building Android phones before Microsoft purchased the company. The New York Times reports that Nokia had a team of workers who developed Android software to run on Lumia handsets. Nokia had no concrete plans to sell the device, but it was a working device that might have laid the ground for Nokia to sell Android devices next year.

Microsoft knew of Nokia's Android exploration, according to the Times' sources. However, there was no need to immediately panic because Nokia is contractually obligated to sell only Windows Phone devices - at least until the end of 2014 when the contract would run out. Microsoft may not have wanted to risk its biggest seller abandoning the struggling platform and becoming yet another manufacturer focused most on Android. Might that fear have contributed to the decision to buy Nokia? The Times writes:

"Still, a functioning Nokia Android phone could have served as a powerful prop in Nokia's dealings with Microsoft, a tangible reminder that Nokia could move away from Microsoft's Windows Phone software and use the Android operating system, which powers more than three out of every four smartphones sold globally."

Even if Android was just seen as leverage, Nokia making the switch was a very real possibility if its exclusivity contract with Microsoft was allowed to expire. Nokia has made progress with Windows Phone and increased both sales and market share of the platform. That was sadly a very small portion of the overall market. Moving to Android and delivering its improvements with camera technology may have given Nokia a chance to reach more people. Microsoft has made sure the people Nokia reaches will remain Windows Phone fans rather than Android users.

source: New York Times

 
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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.

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