New York — Nokia will market a smartphone that uses a modified version of the Android OS to target emerging markets with low-cost smartphones, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Nokia also markets higher-priced smartphones based on the Windows Phone OS.
The new phone received the blessing of Microsoft, which developed the Windows Phone OS and is purchasing Nokia’s cellphone business to boost Windows Phone sales.
Nokia will embrace the new OS because low-cost handsets are unable to support the Windows Phone platform, and Microsoft wants to increase handset volumes to support the manufacturing facilities that it will get from Nokia, the Journal said.
The new phone will be introduced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, later this month.
The Journal did not say whether Nokia would abandon its Asha OS for low-cost smartphone-like cellphones also targeted to developing countries.
Nokia’s Android-based phone would not access the Google Play store to download apps but would access Nokia’s own app store, much like Amazon’s Kindle tablets use a modified Android OS to access Amazon’s download store.