Images of what appears to be a prototype Nokia smartphone Android have surfaced online, giving tech fans a glimpse of what might’ve been had Espoo chosen to partner with Google instead of Microsoft.
Sourced by Chinese site weibo.com and picked up by Engadget, the snaps reveal a handset that takes its design cues from the just unveiled Nokia N9. But instead of Nokia’s Meego platform, it looks to be running the Gingerbread version of Android.
The typically blurry nature of the pics, coupled with the ease with which they could have been mocked up by an enterprising faker, means, however, it’s hard to know for sure what we’re looking at.
Even so, the provenance of the images suggests they could be the real deal. Principally because they come to us courtesy of the same source who dug out an all-too-real snap of the Nokia Sea Ray Windows Phone 7 (WP7) handset well ahead of its semi-official airing this week.
Evidence that Nokia was in two minds about which OS to back before choosing Windows Phone comes as a leading industry figure claims that it could yet change horses mid-race.
According to a typically forthright Eldar Murtazin, whose record in breaking Nokia exclusives speaks for itself, the phone-maker’s first Android handsets could be with us as early as next year. Assuming that the WP7 plan doesn’t pan out as well as Microsoft and Nokia are hoping, that is.
Murtazin tweeted: “When WP7 fail (sic) and if MS not buy (double sic) Nokia smart division in 2011, Nokia will launch plan B and we'll see Android devices (2012). That’s (triple sic) simple.”
The Sea Ray is expected to hit the market before the year is out, with most industry watchers expecting to drop along with the new, all-singing Mango WP7 OS update.