Is Nokia Planning For Android?

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Nokia has a stable relationship with Microsoft, they’re practically married at this point. Hence it primarily focusing on churning out Windows Phone smartphones like the new Windows Phone 8-based Lumia 920. A job posting on Nokia’s LinkedIn page suggests otherwise, however. The job Nokia had up for grabs is “Principal Software Engineer, Embedded Linux Middleware at Nokia in Sunnyvale.”

The job opening is no longer accessible on the LinkedIn page where it was originally posted. Phandroid reports that the description was to “oversee the development of embedded Linux device software and hardware drivers for our exciting new products.” What a coincidence, the Android operating system is based on Linux.

So why does Nokia appear to be hiring an Android expert?

Development of Android products might put a strain on Microsoft and Nokia’s relationship. Poor Nokia just doesn’t know where to fit in and has resorted to constantly switching between different platforms hoping for a saving grace to its depressing mobile hardware business. Since the hardware vendor took the posting down, this all might just be one colorful mix-up too.

To entertain the possibility of Nokia creating another Android device, maybe Nokia is interested in putting Android on a tablet. Maybe Nokia is taking the HTC approach with a little bit of Windows Phone and a little bit of Android (though is it really a good idea to follow in HTC’s footsteps?) Who knows? We’ll just have to wait and see if Nokia follows through with anything significant.

First, there was MeeGo, an open source OS backed by Nokia, Intel and Samsung. Only Nokia cut MeeGo support in 2011, at which point Samsung and Intel started the Tizen OS project, likely nailing a sign on the door that reads “No Nokias allowed.”

MeeGo, by the way, was later reincarnated – by ex-Nokia employees.

Then, there was Meltemi, a would-be budget OS based on Linux and ditched by Nokia over the summer.

There’s one more possibility: that Nokia is simply working on a Nokia Maps app (or other Nokia apps) for Android devices.

But how will Microsoft react if Nokia really is working on an Android device? Getting in bed with the competition is usually a path to certain heartbreak.

But maybe Nokia couldn’t help itself, it knows “Android phones are better”.

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