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February 12, 2014

Nokia to Release Entry-Level Android Handsets: Report

Nokia image — The Nokia Lumia 525.

Nokia is expected to debut a Smartphone powered by Google’s Android at the Mobile World Congress later this month — despite the fact the firm’s mobile-device division is in the process of being acquired by Google’s arch-rival Microsoft.

The Android device, which will be geared to emerging markets, was already in development when Nokia’s handset business was acquired by Microsoft for $7.2-billion, sources told the Wall Street Journal. The deal is to be finalized in the first quarter of this year.

“Android has the entry-level Smartphone market almost all to itself,” Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston told the WSJ. “Microsoft’s missteps in the low-end Smartphone market are costing it and Nokia huge amounts of lost volume.”

It is likely because of those market miscalculations that Nokia is going ahead with the Android-powered handset.

Sources told the Journal Microsoft, at least for the time being, seems to be willing to outsource part of its handset lineup to Android in a bid to bolster shipments and support its own Smartphone manufacturing operation. According to the report, more sales would aid in covering the expense of competing in an industry dominated by Google, Apple and Samsung.

Microsoft will, however, continue to focus on Windows Phones to better compete with high-end devices like Apple’s iPhones or Samsung’s Galaxy Smartphones.