It might not look like much, but the colorful low-end handset pictured above (via @evleaks) is the most valuable smartphone on the planet. Code-named “Normandy,” the tiny unreleased phone was to be the first Nokia device powered by Google’s Android operating system. But it’s also so much more — it’s a $7.2 billion smartphone. As we have discussed before, various chatter suggests that Nokia likely created this handset with the primary intention of forcing Microsoft’s hand. During ongoing negotiations between the two companies, Nokia not only needed a way to move the acquisition of its smartphone division along, but also to ensure that Microsoft acquired the company’s waning feature phone business as well. And what better way to guarantee all of the above than to threaten Nokia with embracing the Android platform?
Did it work? Nokia’s shaky devices business will soon be in Microsoft’s hands in exchange for about $5 billion, and Microsoft will license Nokia’s patents for 10 years for another $2.2 billion. Mission accomplished, we’d say.