New pics purporting to show Nokia's own customised version of Android have appeared online, showing the internal project's interface for the first time.
Notorious (and frequently correct) Twitter-based mobile mole @evleaks published the renders, showing what a Finnish phone might look like running Google's software.
Nokia has reportedly been working in private on its own 'forked' version of Android for some time, taking the basic open-source component of the mobile software and adding its own tweaked bells and whistles, just as Amazon does with its Kindle Fire software.
The pics show a home screen with some simple widgets, a call incoming screen with various options depicted in simple, tasteful monochrome icons, and a customised Skype app (Skype being another Microsoft division). The notification bar shows standard Wi-Fi and battery icons, and two reception bars for dual SIM cards.
Recent leaks over the last few months have shown what kind of hardware Nokia is apparently envisaging using Android on, namely colourful Asha-style plastic handsets, with a codename: Normandy.
Pie in the Skype
There's no indication whatsoever that Nokia ever intends to release an Android phone, or what its strategy might be if it did. The company was bought last year by Microsoft, a process that's still ongoing, to become an in-house Windows Phone maker. It's highly unlikely that Microsoft would spend billions on a hardware maker, then use it to build phones using Google's software, even a forked version without Google services and apps baked in.
If it did decide to use Normandy to replace its Asha software, it wouldn't be able to use Google Play, but developers could port their apps to it fairly simply, as they can for the Kindle Fire (after passing Amazon's approval process).
So why the leaks? Perhaps the team tasked with creating this version of Android is fed up that their hard work will come to nought and wants someone to see what they've been doing, and maybe rile up some anti-Microsoft sentiment while they're at it. There's no way of knowing, and it'll be interesting to see if any of the ideas ever come to light in some other form.
Would you give your eye teeth for an Android phone with Nokia's famed build quality and camera smarts? Do you despair of ever seeing such a fabled beast? What should Microsoft do with the company? Speculate and prognosticate down in the comments, or over on our open-source Facebook page.