Before sale to Microsoft, Nokia was testing Android on Lumia phones

By on September 14, 2013, 7:00 AM

While Nokia has made a name for itself with its wide range of Lumia smartphones running Windows Phone, a report from The New York Times has revealed that Nokia was interested in Android. "Well before" discussions between Microsoft and Nokia lead to the former company buying the latter, Nokia was reportedly testing Android on their Lumia smartphones, having managed to get it running on prototype devices.

Microsoft apparently knew about Nokia's testing of Android, although it didn't form any part of discussions between the companies during the acquisition stage. Nokia had arranged a deal with Microsoft in 2011 to solely produce Windows Phones, although the deal expired in 2014, meaning Android Lumia phones might have made it to the market in under a year's time.

If Nokia had produced a Lumia-like device running Android, with features we've come to love such as 41-megapixel PureView cameras, it might have been the death of Windows Phone. Nokia makes almost all the Windows Phone devices currently available, and commands an impressive 87% share of the Windows Phone market; without them, Microsoft's small share of smartphone sales would begin to dwindle.

Nokia has had to face a large amount of criticism for choosing Windows Phone over Android. The Finnish company had a 30% of the smartphone market in 2010, before that dropped away to the 3% it is now. Smartphone buyers have also often wished that Lumia phones would run Android rather than Windows Phone, citing the weak ecosystem as a reason against purchasing their devices.

Whether or not a switch to Android would have considerably boosted Lumia sales will forever remain unknown, with the company set to produce Windows Phones from here on out.




User Comments: 12

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JC713 JC713 said:

Android on Lumia phones would have been a better idea IMO.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

"with features we've come to love such as 41-megapixel PureView cameras".

Speak for yourself. I doubt many people have even heard of it let alone own one.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Maybe one of these days MS will release a phone running Android or even iOS because Windows Phone OS doesn't seem to be cracking it like MS hoped. X-P

emmzo said:

A Nokia Android phone would have fight Samsung for supremacy, but now... oh, well, I suppose a handful of finnish chairmen are richer.

Railman said:

I am not surprised they tested Android on the Lumia. It makes sense to see if they could break into another market should Windows Phone failed. It would also prove a useful bargaining chip with MS with the upcoming agreement negotiations.

2 people like this | MilwaukeeMike said:

If Nokia had produced a Lumia-like device running Android, with features we've come to love such as 41-megapixel PureView cameras, it might have been the death of Windows Phone.

Why? wouldn't MS just have gotten their phones from somewhere else? Or asked ASUS or another one of their partners in the laptop business to make one? They could have even made their own.

Nokia has had to face a large amount of criticism for choosing Windows Phone over Android. The Finnish company had a 30% of the smartphone market in 2010, before that dropped away to the 3% it is now.

They had 30% before smartphones took over. Blackberry was doing pretty well back then too. Could Nokia have jumped on Android and shifted gears fast enough to be today's Samsung? Who knows, but having 87% of the Windows Phone market isn't too bad. The Android market is like a bucket full of crabs crawling all over each other trying to reach Samsung's scraps. HTC is laying people off and they have an awesome phone. Panasonic just decided to stop making phones altogether. The Android market isn't exactly a sure bet, it's very crowded.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

+1MilwaukeeMike

Everyone who jumped to Android bandwagon, is JUST surviving at worst and making modest money at best, compared to Samsung. So Nokia made the right decision with the aim to dominate WP market, which they pretty much achieved.

By the way Microsoft too was developing its own phone just in case as plan B.

Railman said:

+1MilwaukeeMike

Everyone who jumped to Android bandwagon, is JUST surviving at worst and making modest money at best, compared to Samsung. So Nokia made the right decision with the aim to dominate WP market, which they pretty much achieved.

By the way Microsoft too was developing its own phone just in case as plan B.

So they could waste a few billions of dollars more on another Surface style project? I can see it now the Windows phone costing more than the equivalent iPhone but with fewer Apps.

I am pretty sure that the Lumia sells partly due to the Nokia reputation for quality. If Nokia pulled out of the Windows ecosystem MS would lose big time.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

That is partly true. The main reason lies somewhere else. Android is very inefficient/a resource hog OS, and its shows especially on midrange and low end products, an area in which WP offerings handily beat the crap out of droids, a major reason 520 is outselling its rivals in many emerging and important markets. There are several markets where WP is nearing 10% market share, perhaps an important indicator for WP.

At the higher end once WP quad core Lumias start to emerge I suspect they too will give android good run for its worth.

On apps, its partly true now, but the picture is changing, the gap is not what it used to be.

dennis777 dennis777 said:

I love nokia but windows phone lacks some basic functionality. I still think people loves nokia because they still have a nokia ringtone now and then.

Railman said:

I love nokia but windows phone lacks some basic functionality. I still think people loves nokia because they still have a nokia ringtone now and then.

Not me! The Nokia ringtone drives me round the bend. Same goes for the excruciating Windows theme tune.

Guest said:

I must be the only person that finds Android horrible.

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