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Help Nokia reportedly considered switching to Android before Microsoft deal.
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Smartphone manufacturer Nokia recently sold its devices and services unit to Microsoft for $7.2 billion. Before that deal, though, it seems like the Finnish company may have thought of crossing the fence to Google’s Android operating system sometime after late 2014, according to the New York Times. While Microsoft and Nokia have had a long, well-knit bond over the Windows Phone-based Lumia series, new evidence now shows that a Nokia Lumia Android phone was being considered, and prototypes were also reportedly made by the company.

Nokia supposedly had a team working on bringing Android to its Lumia handsets well before the Microsoft deal took place. The source has stated that Microsoft executives were also aware about the existence of this project.

Nokia’s plan to shift operating systems is not such a surprising one. Most smartphone companies often have alternatives in mind in case they need to shift the operating system or iron out better deals with software partners. The process of porting Android onto Nokia’s hardware was reportedly not such a difficult one. A functional Nokia Android phone, though, is definitely a powerful bargaining chip for Nokia while dealing with Microsoft. The Android operating system currently runs three out of every four smartphones being sold globally. Both Nokia and Microsoft declined to comment about this, according to the source.

Nokia first struck the deal with Microsoft to use Windows Phone on its smartphones in 2011, but had the option of leaving that partnership in 2014. Changing the operating system, though, could have proven costly for both companies. Microsoft’s mobile phone endeavors would have suffered greatly as Nokia now accounts for close to 80 percent of all Windows Phone handsets sold, according to the source. Nokia, too, would have had to shell out a lot of money to change such an integral part of its smartphone line-up.

At the time, Nokia faced a great deal of criticism for picking Windows Phone over Android. The Finnish company’s current share in the smartphone market has fallen to a minor 3 percent during the first quarter of 2013, as opposed to a major 32.8 percent in 2010. There is, unfortunately, no real way to gauge if the operating system was to blame for this. It can be assumed, though, that the open nature of the Android operating system and the greater number of apps may have helped Nokia’s position in the current smartphone market. Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop earlier hinted that Nokia's decision to stick to Windows Phone was based on Samsung's continuous dominance over the Android market.

Be that as it may, Nokia and Microsoft are now reportedly looking at completing the acquisition by next year, and it remains to be seen if the Finnish company will make use of its Lumia Android smartphone during the latter part of the negotiations.
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