The Norwegian firm’s browser will be the default on Microsoft’s low-end Asha, Series 30+ and Series 40 phones, almost all of which will be phased out by the end of 2015.
One retailer appears to be jumping the gun on the Normandy, showing a Nokia X handset price very near that of Nokia’s Asha 503. If accurate, this further supports the strategy of getting Microsoft services on low-end devices in emerging markets.
More Nokia Normandy details leaked on Tuesday, showing an Android phone that runs on meager hardware: Exactly what I’d think would take the place of Nokia’s current low-cost Asha line with the addition of Microsoft apps and services.
More screen shots of the Nokia Normandy software on Android appeared online convincing me even further that Nokia’s Asha line will be based on Android, not S40, as early as Microsoft’s April BUILD conference.
It doesn’t make sense for Nokia to build Android-powered phones. Or does it? The company’s Asha line still runs on S40. Perhaps an overhaul of the engine powering Asha is in order and Android could easily fit the bill.
Microsoft will join Google and Facebook — and show its commitment to Finland — by siting a data center in Europe’s frozen north. Also, the Nokia phone unit takeover talks have been on since February.
Nokia’s low-end range isn’t doing so hot in the face of competition from Android and others. Although Lumia sales are up a third since the last quarter, overall sales are down and analysts aren’t pleased.
The Lumia 925 is a fine-looking device and it successfully answers criticisms levelled at the plasticky 920 and 928. However, it’s very similar to other high-end Nokias. The company’s real “wow” moments happen at the low end.
Nokia’s latest Series 40 handset represents a welcome boost for WhatsApp in emerging markets, and a useful reminder of how Nokia continues to eke relevance out of its ageing platform.
Nokia sold 5.6 million Lumia smartphones in the first quarter of this year, up from 4.4 million in the previous quarter. Its shareholders are still losing money – but less than expected.