Nokia could release an Android-powered smartphone later this month
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Nokia engineers were already working on the company's first Android phone when last September's $7.4 billion deal with Microsoft was struck and it was almost certain that this project would never be completed. Fortunately for Nokia and Android fans, the Finnish smartphone maker could unveil its first handset powered by Google's mobile OS in less than two weeks, revealed sources familiar with the matter.
According to the insiders quoted by The Wall Street Journal, this Nokia handset that will compete with the company's own Windows-powered smartphones will be "tailored in a way that won’t promote some of the key Google-developed features that a more traditional Android-powered phone might." It is not known if Microsoft was involved in this decision, but Nokia seems to be forking Android and the result will be a custom firmware without Google Play Store compatibility.
For example, standard Google Android apps like Gmail and Maps will be replaced by Nokia and Microsoft proprietary pieces of code, including the Here map service and the Mix Radio music service, previously known as Nokia Music. In the long run, it would not be a surprise to see a Microsoft Store for Android devices or at least a Nokia-branded Play Store.
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