HMD Global’s Nokia 400 could be the first feature phone with Android
Android was originally designed to be used with keys but the introduction of the iPhone tipped the balance of the smartphone industry towards touchscreens. So, since its launch in 2008, Android devices has relied on touchscreens. With the growing demand to be online, smartphone companies have previously launched super-affordable Android Go edition smartphones and even feature phones that support 4G. HMD Global is among the companies that set foot early in this segment and dished out feature phones running KaiOS as well as cheap smartphones running Android Go edition. But now, HMD Global could be preparing the Nokia 400 4G which is a feature phone that runs on a touchless version of Android.
The supposed Nokia phone with model number TA-1208 was spotted on the Wi-Fi Alliance website. The phone originally appeared on the website in August 2019 but the listing was updated very recently adding more information. It is interesting to see that the operating system in the listing is as “GAFP.” While we’re not sure what GAFP implies, the acronym was last seen on a leaked feature phone last year.
In July 2019, 9t05Google shared an image of the first feature phone running Android, claiming it was sent to them by an anonymous tipster. While there was no branding on the phone, the keypad looked “suspiciously similar” to a Nokia feature phone. Two months later, 9to5Google secured a hands-on video of the allegedly Android-powered featured phone and under the About Phone header is where we came across the mention of “Iron GAFP.” In the video, the interface looked a lot like Android. While the full video has been deleted from both – Vimeo and YouTube, we still have a 6-second snippet that shows how the Google Assistant might work on the phone.
Joining the dots together, we strongly feel that Nokia is working on this project and expect to see a glimpse at MWC 2020. If that doesn’t happen, we can surely expect to see something at Google I/O conference which is scheduled for May 2020. As for the full form of the abbreviation, we have an inkling it might be “Google Android for Feature Phones” or “Google Apps for Feature Phones” but we’d like to wait until we have more reliable information about the project.
Source: Wi-Fi Alliance