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Nokia, once the market leader in the mobile industry, placed its faith heavily in the Windows Phone ecosystem – a decision that, at the moment, doesn’t appear to have paid dividends. The Finnish company has long since created decent smartphones, but with WP struggling, the likes of Apple, Samsung and HTC have continued to dominate. Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s products and services dept. back in September seemed to indicate that Nokia and WP would continue to collaborate as an exclusive unit, however the much-rumored Nokia Android smartphone has just been leaked from a reputable source.

There’s very little doubt that in order to fully capitalize on the quality of its handsets, Nokia needs to break away somewhat from Windows Phone. With the introduction of apps like Vine and (finally) Instagram in the past couple of months over at the WP Store, there’s no question that things are looking up, but with a very small collection of apps compared with Apple and Google’s respective online stores, the Finnish company could do a lot worse than releasing an Android-based device.

The Android smartphone is codenamed Normandy, and courtesy of resident leaker Evleaks, we have our first glimpses of the user interface. As you’d expect, it takes quite a few elements from the Windows Phone UI, and looks something of an amalgam between WP and Asha.

Despite this heavy tweaking, though, it would only take a launcher and a few widgets for an Android user to turn this into your run-of-the-mill, Google-ified Droid, and although these leaks present some interesting design concepts, one suspects that a large portion of those picking up this device will instantly seek to restore some form of familiarity.

At this point in time, it is unknown whether this device, or any subsequent made-for-Android handsets will see the light of day. As aforementioned, Microsoft is now in ownership of Nokia, and although Windows Phone is clearly struggling in mobile space against the big two, bringing an Android handset to the fore would seem counter-productive, and to the detriment of WP’s potential progress.

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With a bunch of solid Nokia devices on the market but no real justification for buying into the WP ecosystem just yet, a move towards Android would definitely be in Nokia’s best interests. But since it would hurt Microsoft, the now-owner of Nokia, it’s something of a double-edged sword, and as such, it seems doubtful that a Nokia Android smartphone will ever be readied for prime time.

(Source: Evleaks [Twitter])

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