FINNISH PHONE MAKER Nokia reportedly will release a low-cost Android smartphone next year, despite Microsoft's imminent takeover of the company.
That's according to The Verge, which managed to get hold of more information about a leaked device called the "Nokia Normandy" that was spotted by @evleaks in November.
The report claims that the device will launch in 2014 as a "low-cost" Android phone, with the firm planning to replace its Series 40 operating system found on its Asha line of feature phones with Google's mobile operating system.
While these rumours sound a little crazy given Microsoft's high-profile takeover of Nokia's devices business, The Verge seems pretty sure of its information and offers some points for clarification.
The report points out that the rumoured Nokia Normandy will run a "forked" version of the operating system that isn't associated with Google services, similar to the heavily skinned version of Android that Amazon puts on its Kindle devices. This would allow Nokia to give adopters of its budget smartphone access to more traditional smartphone applications, something it struggles with on its Asha line.
Not much else is known about the Nokia Normandy, but the leaked image of the handset shows that it will feature a touchscreen, a rear-facing camera and vibrant colour options.
The Verge's inside sources said that the Nokia Normandy project is "full steam ahead" and that the phone will be released at some point in 2014.
It's still unclear when Nokia plans to release the Normandy handset, but if the rumour is true it likely will debut before Microsoft's takeover of the company is completed.
Nokia has yet to respond to our request for comment. µ