Posted October 8, 2013 by Lucy Price in Technology

Mountain View: Nokia’s Fabled Android-powered Smartphone

“Mountain View” was rumored to be Nokia’s secret Android-powered smartphone prior to the company’s acquisition. In a 2012 article published on BGR.com; it revealed that the company was looking for a software engineer for the said project. Risto Siilasmaa, Nokia Chairman and interim CEO, revealed that the company had a contingency plan if ever their Windows smartphones don’t catch up with the competition.

However, Stephen Elop, Nokia’s former CEO, has shut the door on the rumored Android smartphone during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call in January 2013. He said that “we are clearly innovating with Microsoft around Windows Phone, and are focused on taking that to lower and lower price points.” But, with smartphones like the iPhone 5S on O2 and Samsung S4—and its many variants—is the company still pushing through with project Mountain View?

Secondary Options for Vendors

In 2011, Microsoft inked a deal with Nokia to power their devices with the Windows 8 mobile operating system. In fact, almost 88% of all the Windows handsets currently in use were made by Nokia. Currently, Windows mobile is at top 3, with a 3.7% market share during the second quarter of this year. Around 8.7 million units were also shipped, according to IDC’s 2013 Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report. Despite its rising number of users, vendors still consider them as secondary options over Android.

Putting “Plan B” Into Production

These numbers have fueled the speculation and rumors about the company’s “Plan B”. Their Beijing-based research and development (R & D) team was busy developing a prototype of the Mountain View. The said device was powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 8225Q chip and Foxconn has already delivered 10,000 units. Also, it was their plan to switch to the Android operating system in the late 2014. Since Microsoft was aware of their plans, this could’ve pushed them to purchase the company. If the deal doesn’t push through, it could be the end of their mobile operating system.

Apple’s Thoughts on Nokia’s Android Plan

Android is still the biggest mobile ecosystem in the world today, despite of its fragmentation problems. It still holds 75% of the market share and 162.1 million units shipped to date. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek that Android’s ecosystem is fragmented and chaotic. A third of users are still using Gingerbread—which was released 3 years ago—, while less than half are already using the latest OS. Also, mobile phone manufacturers are allowed to tweak it to better suit their devices.

For third-party app developers, it’s a nightmare because they have to create separate updates or patches for each version. This makes Windows a more homogenous system across all its vendors, compared to Android which is everywhere. Cook also said that “Microsoft kept things the same, and the level of fragmentation wasn’t as much.”

Going back to the original Nokia-Microsoft deal; Microsoft will pay Nokia more for platform support payments, which exceeds the total amount of their minimum software royalty payments. In an interview in 2012, they said that “our agreement with Microsoft includes platform support payments from Microsoft to us as well as software royalty payments from us to Microsoft. In the second quarter 2012, we received a quarterly platform support payment of USD 250 million (approximately EUR 196 million). Under the terms of the agreement governing the platform support payments, the amount of each quarterly platform support payment is USD 250 million. We have a competitive software royalty structure, which includes annual minimum software royalty commitments.” It was a good move for the company, since they really needed to stay afloat in the market.


If Nokia had pushed for its Android-powered phone, it could’ve served as a powerful prop in the company’s talks with Microsoft. Until now, people are still hoping that Nokia will change its mind and go all-out with the Android ecosystem. It basically powers 3 out of the four smartphones sold on the market today. The prototypes that we’re seeing on the Internet are a reminder that Nokia had a choice and they could’ve succeeded with it.


Lucy Price has a passion for the latest fashion and gadget trends. She also loves to travel and visits the pristine beaches of Seychelles Islands. Lucy is also a huge Apple fan and wishes to get the gold iPhone 5S from O2. She also does community work and frequently backpacks throughout Southeast Asia.

Lucy Price

Lucy Price
For starters, Lucy is a passionate blogger who tackles various kinds of topics specializing in gadgets and fashion. She travels a lot which makes her more open to ideas that are not present in a specific area, may it be on how one dresses or how the gadgets and technology differ in different places. Lucy is also an animal-lover and she does volunteer work for charities.