Nokia abandons Peter Skillman led Android adaptation plans, refocuses on wearables, smart glasses for 2015
We told you back in September that Nokia was still working on its own cheap, heavily customized Android phone. TheVerge has confirmed this last week, telling us that Android based Normandy phone is “full steam ahead” for early 2014 launch.
Now the Chinese site that first brought the news about Android Asha still in the works – C Technology – chimes in with more info about the project. According to them, Nokia has been working on several cheap Android prototype devices, including Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 based 7” tablet. Android customization effort has been lead by Nokia’s Peter Skillman, head of Ux design.
However, Nokia has now shelved android smartphone and tablet plans. According to CTech sources, the decision to shelve work on Android devices was made without direct Microsoft intervention. Android development was done under the Nokia CTO office, which stays with Nokia and is not part of Microsoft deal. So those Normandy phones will not be moving to Redmond anytime soon.
However, in my opinion, now that Nokia shareholders overwhelmingly approved the sale of Nokia mobile division to Microsoft, as did most of world’s regulatory agencies – the decision to abandon the project is the logical outcome. According to the terms of the contract, Nokia is not allowed to sell phones, smartphones or tablets under its name for the next 2 years. They could theoretically create a mobile Android device under a new brand, but given the level of competition in the market, competency, manufacturing, logistical and distribution base that is transferring to Microsoft, it makes little sense.
Instead, according to CTech, Nokia has some big plans for its CTO office R&D activities. It will focus on the new emerging technologies like wireless power transmission, low power electromagnetic energy generation, flexible displays, graphene sensors and augmented reality to enter the newly forming wearable computing field. The current Nokia smart watch project may be going to Microsoft, but the more far off wearables are staying. In fact, Nokia smart glasses may already be on the product roadmap for 2015 release.
All of this sounds pretty interesting, and gives me hope that Nokia will be back in consumer electronics space in a few years. Oh, and the news that Nokia CTO office with R&D departments under it will have a lot of things to do besides patent trolling, are even better.
Via: C Technology