Nokia built Android-powered Lumia prior to Microsoft deal

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Nokia (NYSE:NOK) was testing Lumia smartphones running Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android mobile operating system "well before" discussions that led to Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) agreeing to purchase the company's struggling mobile phones business for $7.2 billion, The New York Times reports.

Nokia adopted Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile operating system as its primary smartphone platform in early 2011, and could have abandoned the platform at the end of 2014. Such a move would have been crushing for Microsoft: Sales of Nokia Lumia devices increased 112.7 percent year-over-year during the second quarter of 2013 to account for 80 percent of Windows Phone 8 handset sales worldwide, according to research firm Gartner.

Microsoft confirmed its knowledge of Nokia's Android project to the NYT but said it "wasn't a part of Microsoft's discussions" prior to the acquisition. Per terms of the agreement, Microsoft will acquire roughly a third of Nokia's 88,000 employees and much of its Lumia smatphone and Asha feature phone business. The blockbuster deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014. Article

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