Rumor Mill: Microsoft's Nokia to release Lumia smartphone running Android

Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) Nokia unit is going to release a smartphone in its flagship Lumia line that runs Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android software, according to a post from noted mobile leaker @evleaks.

The report did not provide details about the rumored device beyond that it would be Lumia-branded, and did not say when the gadget might be released. A Microsoft spokeswoman declined to comment.

In late June Nokia unveiled the Nokia X2, a phone that runs Android and will sell for around $135. The launch seemed to indicate Microsoft's intention, at least for the time being, to maintain Nokia's plans to sell Android phones as a low-cost alternative to Nokia's line of Lumia Windows Phone devices.

Nokia has always maintained that its Lumia line of phones would run Windows Phone software. That is why when the X phones were first introduced in February they did not have Lumia branding. It's unclear why Microsoft would choose to muddy the waters on its brand distinctions.

Nokia's X line of Android phones use Microsoft services, which is likely why Microsoft continues to support the devices.

"Microsoft acquired the mobile phones business, inclusive of Nokia X, to help connect the next billion people to Microsoft's services," Stephen Elop explained in April. Previously CEO of Nokia, Elop is now executive vice president of Microsoft's Devices Group. "Nokia X uses the Microsoft cloud, not Google's. This is a great opportunity to connect new customers to Skype, and Onedrive for the first time. We've already seen tens of thousands of new subscribers on Microsoft services."

For more:
- see this Evleaks site
- see this CNET article

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