Windows Partner Nokia Working on Android Phone

Still locked in its smartphone partnership with Microsoft, Finland-based Nokia seems to be branching out to devices powered by the world's leading operating system, Google's Android.

Last month a "leaked" photo of a device called the "Normandy" appeared on Twitter and published reports said the secret device will be powered by a forked version of Android. The Verge said the device was now being tested, according to unnamed sources, and would run Android-compatible applications like Skype.

The alleged Normandy device shown in the photo resembles Nokia's candybar-shaped Lumia devices. No further details have emerged about the device and Nokia did not respond to our request via phone and e-mail for comment.

Gaining Market Share

The Android reports come as Nokia, which is selling its smartphone division to Microsoft, is seeing a surge in the important U.S. market. According to a MarketMonitor report by Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research, Nokia grew from just 1.4 percent in the second quarter of this year to 4.1 percent in Q3. In the third quarter of 2012, Nokia barely registered with 0.7 percent of the market.

Samsung and Apple continue to dominate the market with about 33 percent each, the survey said, while LG clinched the third spot with 8.6 percent of the market.

Nokia saw some serious slippage in the global market in the same period with a 15.5 percent share of the market in the current quarter compared with 21.3 last year at this time. South Korea-based Samsung Electronics, which last year captured the top global handset-maker crown from Nokia, grew slightly from 26.4 percent to 28.7 percent.

Since Google's Android is an open-source operating system, it makes sense for Nokia to use it for cheaper devices aimed at emerging markets. Gartner Research Analyst Ken Dulaney said, "While this is only speculation at this point, the rumor if proven true could...

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