Nokia teases with 'X' image as Android phone rumors swirl

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) teased an image ahead of its press conference at the Mobile World Congress trade show next week, where it is expected to unveil phone running a" forked" version of  Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform.

nokia x android

Nokia hinted of an X with its latest tease.

The device is reportedly codenamed "Normandy" but many rumors have suggested it will be called the Nokia X when it is formally released. On its official blog, Nokia posted an image of four black arrows across a green background all pointing to one location to create an X. Nokia is holding a press conference Feb. 24 at MWC in Barcelona, Spain.

The device will retail for around $110, according to a Vietnamese retail site. The posting, which was recently spotted by the blog WMPoweruser, called the phone the Nokia X A110. The phone is listed as running Android 4.4.2 "Kit Kat," with a dual-core 1 GHz processor, 4 GB of internal storage and 512 MB of RAM. The gadget is also expected to have a 4-inch display and 5-megapixel camera.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the matter, the phone won't access some Google-developed features or Android apps from Google Play, and will instead come installed with digital services created by Nokia and Microsoft, including Here for mapping, MixRadio for streaming music and a Nokia application store.

It's unclear how prominent, important or long-term the project will be for Nokia; Nokia is in the midst of selling its handset business to Windows Phone vendor Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). Nokia uses Microsoft's Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform.

The rumored Android device seems clearly aimed at the low-end of the smartphone market and for emerging markets, where Android has thrived. Some have speculated that it could be a way for Nokia and Microsoft to get those consumers used to Microsoft and Nokia services and then get them to upgrade to Windows Phone later.

As Re/code notes, it's shaping up to be a Mobile World Congress without any Windows Phone hardware launches. Microsoft is holding a press conference ahead of the start of the show, but is expected to only talk broadly about the platform's future. The Re/code report said that, according to unnamed sources, neither Nokia nor Microsoft's other Windows Phone partners is expected to introduce new smartphones at MWC. That could leave the rumored Nokia Android phone overshadowing the Windows Phone platform, at least in Barcelona.

For more:
- see this Nokia blog post
- see this The Verge article
- see this CNET article
- see this Re/code article

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Reports: Nokia building smartphone with forked version of Android, codenamed 'Normandy'

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