The company had plans to launch Android-running Asha devices in 2014.
After having a rather unsuccessful stint with Windows, Nokia was reportedly testing Android OS for its smartphones. As per a report in NYT’s Bits blog, engineers at Nokia were working to being an Android-powered Lumia device way before Microsoft deal came into picture.
The post at NYT reads:
“A team within Nokia had Android up and running on the company’s Lumia handsets well before Microsoft and Nokia began negotiating Microsoft’s $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s mobile phone and services business, according to two people briefed on the effort who declined to be identified because the project was confidential.”
According to The Verge, Nokia did not restrict its Android efforts to the Lumia line only. The Project Mview was being handled by the Nokia team where they were trying to use forked Android on its low-end Asha phones. Sources quoted in The Verge report also stated that the company had plans to launch Android-running Asha devices in 2014.
The Verge report stated:
Nokia uses a variety of codenames for projects, but this particular one — also codenamed “MView” for Google’s hometown of Mountain View — was designed to use a variant of Android on a low-end handset to maximize margins. We’re told the end result was planned to launch in 2014, but with the recent acquisition employees working on the projects do not know their fate. One of Nokia’s ideas was to fork its own version of Android in a similar way to Amazon for low-end devices. Now that Microsoft has acquired Nokia’s smartphone business (pending regulatory approvals), whatever little hope was there for a Nokia Android phone, it is gone and we will probably never see Android running on Nokia phones.