The company's Android handset is codenamed Normandy, according to sources of The Verge. The codename - apparently one of several for the clandestine phone - appeared in November along with an alleged photo courtesy of Twitter tipster @evleaks.
Nokia's Android phone is said to run a "forked" version of Google's OS, similar to how Amazon makes use of the the system for its hardware.
Normandy can run Android apps like Skype and other popular applications, according to the sources. Because of its forked status, Nokia would be able to fully customize the OS, taking it out from under Google rule.
An Asha phone
Nokia has reportedly been developing the phone despite the impending sale to Microsoft. Because of the acquisition situation, it's unclear whether Nokia will attempt a release of Normandy before the deal is done. If it decides not to, then it's equally uncertain whether Microsoft will keep Normandy afloat post-merger.
The smart money is on a big "No" for Normandy under Redmond's order.
Interestingly, Nokia's Android handset is supposedly designed to be an on par with its Asha line - a lower-end phone that will deliver traditional smartphone apps to consumers.
Because Series 40-powered Ashas have failed to do just that, Nokia wants Normandy to pick up the slack.
The handset is said to be "full steam ahead," with a release pegged for sometime in 2014.
The attitude within Nokia may be gung-ho, but the clock is ticking for Nokia to launch its take on Android. Regulatory hurdles are falling left and right for the Microsoft deal, and a closure can't be more than a few months away.
- Speaking of Microsoft, check out our full Xbox One review!