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back to article Nokia to launch low-cost Android phone this month – report

Nokia is preparing to release its first-ever smartphone running Google's Android OS, sources claim. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the Finnish firm plans to unveil the device at this year's Mobile World Congress conference, which takes place in Barcelona on February 24-27. The move comes as Microsoft inches …

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WTF?

A shade over two years after Elop made huge swathes of ex-Symbian folk redundant following on from the burning platforms memo and decided that the way forward was Microsoft......

WTF as an icon because this is a WTF situation.

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It was three years ago. Time marches on...

To be honest, Nokia have been doomed since the release of the N97. The rest has just been details getting filled in.

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Now he's decided to ship a Linux distro after all. Good MS times!

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Not that Elop had any clue about mobile phones or development or operating systems 2-3 years ago...

...and that's not to say he knows a lot today but definitely more than when he became the head of the biggest mobile phone vendor, thanks to its clueless board (oh, sweet irony!)

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"...To be honest, Nokia have been doomed since the release of the N97..."

Now just hold on there. I'll have you know that I myself had a Nokia N97 and it . . .

Ah, yeah. I see what you mean.

Carry on

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Anonymous Coward

Most of those ex-Symbian folk jumped at the chance for a redundacy package.

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Anonymous Coward

What a cock up

WTF? Indeed - this development programme must have started less than a year after he killed Meltemi.

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Nickname the 'Snide Phone' ?

So is this the very first Android launch wit the cannibalistic intent of destroying Android?

I'd imagine so. There's a dirty war already taking place.

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Re: Nickname the 'Snide Phone' ?

You read it here first, predicted by Alan D. Anyone else remember Embrace, Extend, Extinguish?

Microsoft didn't buy Nokia, just their mobile business.

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Re: Nickname the 'Snide Phone' ?

It is all well and good to make a crazy claim, but in order for anyone to take it seriously you have to back it up.

How exactly is Microsoft going to "destroy Android" by releasing an Android phone? Make one that really sucks? There are already sucky Android phones available, one more won't matter. If someone buys a Nokia Android and gets a bad taste in their mouth and vows to never again buy Android, I don't see how that translates into a Windows sale. That crappy phone they hated also said Nokia on it, and since they're about the only ones selling Windows phones that dissatisfied customer probably ends up in Apple's lap. That doesn't help Microsoft at all.

Unless they succeed in taking over Samsung's role in dominating Android and start to exert some control over its direction, I don't see how the presence or absence of an Android phone from Microsoft/Nokia will matter to Android as a whole in any way, shape or form.

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Re: Nickname the 'Snide Phone' ?

@DougS

"How exactly is Microsoft going to 'destroy Android' by releasing an Android phone?"

My guess would be by releasing an Android phone with the Google tie-ins replaced by Microsoft tie-ins; at the end of the day, Google doesn't make money from Android itself but instead from the ecosystem surrounding it. If Microsoft can replace that ecosystem with their own (and, of course, they're in exactly the right position to do so - for example, offering applications to give seamless interop. with AD/Windows/the MS stack but only available from the MS app store on an Android phone from Nokia) then they effectively remove Google's revenues. Keep that up for a while, and what happens to Android?

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Re: Nickname the 'Snide Phone' ?

If Android was controlled by a relatively small company, I would worry Microsoft was trying to destroy it. However, Android is controlled by a leviathan. Microsoft cannot destroy it at will. In any event, if Microsoft usurp Google from Android by making better maps apps and so forth, what is wrong with that?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nickname the 'Snide Phone' ?

Standard Android is pretty good. I can see a market for almost vanilla Android without the Google spyware/apps. That's not to say Nokia wouldn't add their own closed source apps, but as Google removes more of Android functionality and embeds it into its own apps (e.g. SMS and Hangouts) Nokia would be an interesting alternative. As another poster said - it could be very similar to the way Amazon have used Android.

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Re: Keep that up for a while, and what happens to Android?

The 98% of the market that still use Google's services mean it's pretty much unnafected?

And the "get me coat" icon is for shit jokes.

Oh, I see what you did there.....

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Re: Nickname the 'Snide Phone' ?

> Android is controlled by a leviathan

Android is 'controlled' by nobody. Anyone can take it and make what they want of it, see Amazon.

Google services are controlled by Google and anyone can use them under certain conditions. That is called 'terms of trade'.

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Confused

Is this new phone being built/released by Nokia Devices & Services (the admittedly large chunk of Nokia bought by Microsoft) or is it another division that now feels free to get back into the phone business now that all the dead wood has been sold off?

Hopefully whichever division it is has some really good lawyers. I can't imagine that Microsoft didn't pop in a little no-compete clause, but equally I don't see that the head of the purchased division will be too happy with his minions producing a phone not based on WinPho.

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Re: Confused

It's the Microkia side. It's all a calculated move by Microborg, doing what they do best: shafting the competition by cooperating with them.

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"...Windows Phone is too resource-intensive to run on cheap hardware, these sources claim, which is why Nokia is turning to Android for its new, bargain-priced kit..."

Oh REALLY? I suspect it has more to do with licensing than hardware requirements. Windows Phone seems to run pretty sweetly on some very cheap kit but Android needs quad-core monsters and is still laggy.

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True WP has been always regarded as far less resource intensive than Android. My Samsung Galaxy S Advance became very slow since I upgraded it with Android 4.1.2 (it came with some flavour of Android 2). My Nokia 620 is far faser, and it doesn't have an high-end hardware.

Unless Nokia plans to use an older, lighter Android, there's no way it can run Android 4 on a low-end hardware.

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If you knew nothing of the hardware specs and compared my ex Galaxy SII with a Lumia 520 you would think the 520 was significantly higher spec. It's half the RAM and 80% the CPU speed, but compared to the SII on Jellybean it's a flying machine. I don't like the direction that Android is taking where you're getting to need a quad core 2Ghz only for the OS to work smoothly.

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> Windows Phone seems to run pretty sweetly on some very cheap kit

The phones are only 'cheap', such as the 520, because they are being sold at a loss to keep the volumes up. Microsoft was bunging them a billion a year and the division still made a loss.

> but Android needs quad-core monsters and is still laggy.

I remember when WP7 came out. It could only support single core (due to being the MS-DOS of mobile OSes) and the dogma was: what does Android need dual-core for ?

WP8 _required_ dual-core, and only works of several specific SoCs all of which are dual-core, and seems to dedicate one to the UI. So they have to adjust the dogma now to slagging off quad-core.

Quad (and Octo) core is not about performance, it is about flexibility of power saving. WP does not do quad so they have to slag it off.

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any way to support it?

True WP has been always regarded as far less resource intensive than Android.

Any links with benchmarks or comparative analysis with similar hardware side by side?

AMOF, Microsoft corp. has been notorious in making a desktop OS (even with the allegedly better NT kernel) that is rich in cholesterol, doesn't last long, slows down with age therefore, unstable etc. Minimal system reqs are also quite impressive, no I am not talking about the great Vista, say, as of recent their WinRT was using humongous disk size is one example, compare to Android, iOS or even a desktop GNU/Linux.

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Paris Hilton

A few hmmms

Hmmm - new boss at Ms

Hmmm - sudden new policy that shifts products probably at low price from much ailing giant

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Nokia wasn't a "phone" company in the first place,

The phones were just the latest iteration of a company that has made Wellington Boots, Tyres, Cables, Electricity Generation, Gas Masks, Metals, Chemicals, Paper etc etc.

They got in to the phone business when the going was good, and they've left it when the market is saturated and they don't want to be there any more.

They're doing what they've done before. Exiting a business when they don't make money there again. They'll probably still be around in another 150 years if they carry on like they have the last 150!

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Re: Nokia wasn't a "phone" company in the first place,

"They got in to the phone business when the going was good, and they've left it when the market is saturated and they don't want to be there any more."

You make it sound as though Nokia gradually lost profitability making mobile phones; in fact they imploded in the space of a few years. Apple are apparently making fairly decent money in this 'saturated' market.

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... and in next week's news

the sale of Nokia's device devision to Microsoft is cancelled? Unlikely I guess but one can hope.

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Re: ... and in next week's news

Post split the remainder of Nokia planned to be a patent troll. China is blocking the deal because they don't like this plan. No telling at this point whether it goes through.

A number of scenarios are possible: Elop has discovered the value of a "plan B". The objective is to justify the Windows Phone decision by "proving" nobody would buy the worst possible Nokia Android phone. It isn't really an Android phone. To transition Android fans to Windows Phone gradually by letting them experience its amazing [sic] interface. And so on.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ... and in next week's news

And you can substantiate any of the drivel in your post Mikel? Oh yeah, thought not.......

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Re: ... and in next week's news

@Anonymous Coward - For the China thing will Bloomberg do?

Oh, did you mean the intention to be a patent troll? That comes from Nokia's earnings call. You will find it in their financial statements, but here is a report. "Going forward, we see opportunities to expand our licensing coverage to presently unlicensed vendors and to parts of our portfolio that are not broadly licensed under our current agreements."

As for the scenarios... those are scenarios. Mutually contradictory speculative possible situations. Scenario: "an outline of the plot of a dramatic work, giving particulars as to the scenes, characters, situations, etc"

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Anonymous Coward

Windows phone too resource intensive for low spec hardware?

Then good luck with Android. I think someone might have been talking out of their bottom, with that analysis.

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What the fuck is the point of that? All the data-haemorrhaging capabilities of Android skinned with the road-crash of Windows FU or whatever the mobile thing is called. Glad I don't have shares in them.

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Which Nokia?

Is this the Nokia that MS are buying, or the Nokia which is remaining afterwards?

Considering WP8 gets reviewed as consistently better than the bottom-end Android phones in bang for cycle, these must be really low-end. Basically replacing the Asha range?

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Too late

Nokia could have remained the world leader in mobile phones by adopting android early on, instead they went with Microsofton, both as an OS, and then as an owner.

Now, they're too busy playing catchup whilst having their hands tied behind them by the Redmond Borg Cube, and I for one wouldn't touch their product with a ten foot pole.

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Re: Too late

MrDamage, your statement that 'Nokia could have remained the world leader in mobile phones by adopting android early on' is pure speculation on your part, and anyone who knows anything about the mobile phone industry is currently laughing at your naivety.

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Re: Too late

MrDamage Nokia had a perfectly good operating system pre-windows, in fact they had about 3 either in use or under development. They just had the crappiest UI imaginable. A decent UI stuck on any of their selection of available OSs would have made a very nice smartphone indeed.

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Windows

Re: Too late

"anyone who knows anything about the mobile phone industry is currently laughing at your naivety."

Not MS then?

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Devil

What's that, my dear N9?

I can't understand what he's trying to tell me. My Linux-based, native-code mobile phone launched by Nokia two and a half years ago is just laughing too hard. Breathe, goddammit, remember to breathe!

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Anonymous Coward

They will launch it this month and with the Microsoft acquisition of the Nokia handset division supposedly this quarter, they will be killed next month by Elop under the reigns of Microsoft.

1GHz and 512MB of RAM? That is so low-end that it would have to reach up to hit below the belt and still miss the bags.

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And yet the N8 managed with 680 MHz and 256MB of RAM. Symbian Belle, despite throwing out some nice things that Symbian Anna had, still has a more logically thought-out UI than Android 3-4 years later.

That's progress for you.

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N8 UI v. Android

@Dan 55 : agreed.

My N8 v. my gf's Samsung Galaxy S ii mini - I can't see the UI improvement or the point in swapping.

Work just gave me a BB Q10----Mhist alchrighty the UI sucks. Part rational Part random..but an interesting view of what can be done with Qt and HTML5 and still retain Android "compatibility."

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Virtual Android

Could it be that Nokia would run virtual Android on WP like Jolla is running virtual Android in SailfishOS?

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Perhaps

Perhaps Elop now, not the next boss of Microsoft, and Nokia phones now a part of Microsoft, mission completed, is suddenly forced to make a profit. Forced to do things he was not allowed to do before the takeover. It would not surprise me if he left within a year or so.

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Re: Perhaps

"It would not surprise me if he left within a year or so."

Well he's just been passed over for the big chair. So either (a) he hangs around resentful, unco-operative and bitter, (b) Nadella shows him the door, more or less gracefully, or (c) he storms off in a strop. I've seen all three at close hand due to the nature of the job I do.

The one thing I've not seen is failed CEO candidates do is knuckle down, work hard to support the winner, and accept that they are still on a cushy number. Even if they were willing, the new CEO will be paranoid that the other guy is a threat to their leadership, and will work against them. You don't get to be CEO by being reasonable, normal, well balanced, or even intelligent.

It isn't like he's going to be short of offers. There's plenty of VC/PE houses would love any former MS C-level bum to "share their wisdom" on tech projects, or other non-tech companies in the market for a rent-a-non-exec director.

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perry mason

Wonder if MS will drag MicroNokia to court for infringing its patents, so all the other Android vendors don't feel left out. Then.. and just because this is all make believe , The Moto-Goog-Sung alliance leap to Micro-Nokia's defense with it's patent portfolio protection. Chanting 'we look after our own'.

Meanwhile - Tim Cook sits in the corner, lonely, talking to himself wishing an idea might present itself so those wild promises of 'something great is coming.. sometime in the future .. honest...' don't look so silly when he announces the iPhone 5ds.

Nintendo takes Apple to court for trademark infringement, wins, acquires Apple in the settlement and launches a dual screen gaming console with an integrated phone that's unashamedly plastic and captures the yoof market. Mario becomes self aware and get's a job with the Department of Defense.

Microsoft, after biding it's time, demolishes Nintendo in court for stealing it's dual screen Courier designs and acquires Nintend-apple, using the Johnnie Cochran Chewbacca defense that so successfully got O.J.Simpson off those nasty murder charges.

Steve Ballmer chucks a couple of cats at some chairs in celebration, rubs his hands and yells 'mission complete mother f£$ker... hell yeah !!!!!!' for it was Steve-o's plan all along to assimilate NokIntendApple and replace every device on the planet with the ever-so-successful Metro/Notro/Rubbish interface.

In a none too surprising move, Google gets rather miffed and launches it's little known attack dog department the Central Intelligence Agency to assassinate Ballmer and re-instate the puppet dictator .. Agent Satya Nadella.

Google gets back to 'monitoring' our activities after the little distraction. The news reports that Steve Ballmer, the computing visionary was lost at sea and the search has been called off due to no one caring.

I should go and do some work now.

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Now, I'm really confused...

As I understand it, "Old" Nokia (the non-Redmond bit) is still free to make its own phones, should it choose. I don't remember anything in the interminable press releases about this.

Am I correct, or would lawyers be slavering in the wings?

If so, it might make a lot of sense for "Old" Nokia - free from Flop - to do just that. There must be loads of expertise awaiting for the inevitable pink slips that always follow acquisitions dying to jump back, esp. if they're Finns...and there's a jolla nice company nearby who might need a shedload of Finnish cash....

Interesting year or so ahead....

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Re: Now, I'm really confused...

"Am I correct, or would lawyers be slavering in the wings?"

Depends whether there's a non-compete clause in the agreement, or whether MS have exclusive rights to any Nokia owned IP (ie it is possible that Nokia grant MS an exclusive licence, and that excludes Nokia themselves.

But there's a bigger reason why Nokia won't go back into phones. Having made the most awful mess in phones, and allowed themselves to be backed into a corner where they had to practically give the business to Microsoft, why would shareholders allow the board to go back into the same business again? People currently holding Nokia shares are doing so despite the alternative opportunity to invest in Apple, Google, Samsung, HTC etc etc (ooh, and Microsoft).

Changing the strategy of a big company is like steering a very large ship - you can only do it very slowly, and its best for everybody involved if the intentions are clearly signalled, and the course plotted according to the capabilities of crew, vessel and local conditions. The Nokia board did a Schettino with the mobile business; they were very lucky that it didn't drag the rest of the company down as well.

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Bring it on...

I always thought that Nokia chose WP8 because they didn't like their customers very much.

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Trollface

Seeing is believing

And with luck it will come with Flappy Bird pre-installed, instead of Snake. That should give it instant market share.

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Devil

Nokia 1020...

With Andriod might see me jump from the Apple ship. The PAIN :D

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Anonymous Coward

Change of policy

WP8 proponents claimed that its advantage was that it required fewer resources than Android, so it was cheaper to make a WP8 phone.

As Nokia divests itself of the phone business to Microsoft, they seem to be on the verge of debunking that very argument.

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