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Previously we reported that Nokia had been working on an Android phone prototype before Microsoft decided to swoop in and buy the company. For a while since the announcement of the deal between Microsoft and Nokia there has been media speculation of some sort of "conspiracy" suggesting that former Microsoft employee turned Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, had been working with Microsoft to devalue Nokia so that Microsoft could buy it up at a cheaper price. A new report now suggests that the opposite might have been true. Apparently, Nokia share-holders really wanted Microsoft to save the floundering phone OEM and did everything they could to instigate the sale.
In fact, if this report is true, the Nokia Android prototypes were a a "scare tactic" designed to spur Microsoft into getting off the fence. This low-end Nokia Android device was codenamed Normandy and was simply developed as leverage to facilitate the merger. Here's a quote with more of the details,
The above pic of the Nokia Android Normandy was leaked recently by the famed leaker @evleaks, which gives us the first real glimpse of the device. What do you guys think? Is it possible all of this maneuvering between the two companies was planned by Nokia rather than Microsoft?Normandy may be the device that Nokia used to bludgeon Microsoft into buying both smartphone and feature phone operations.
Once Nokia had reached the decision to unload its smartphone unit, it was crucial for the company to also find a simultaneous buyer for the low-end feature phone unit. Only that way could Nokia start getting aggressive on pressing its patent claims on rival handset vendors. Exiting phone business completely meant Nokia no longer needed cross-licensing deals that dilute its IP revenue.
Since feature phones face the possibility of imminent sales collapse sometime in 2014 or 2015, finding a buyer for only the budget phone unit was always going to be extremely hard, if not impossible. That meant Microsoft was the only plausible buyer for the low-end handsets.
Normandy may have been a weapon. It may have been the strategic threat used to demonstrate to Microsoft that Nokia was on track to begin Android phone adoption if Microsoft would not play ball.