Nokia has denied that it is developing a handset based on Google’s Android operating system.

The response came after reports in the UK that the Finnish phone maker would announce an Android-based smartphone in September at the Nokia World Conference.

Such a move would mean a massive change in direction for Nokia, which took full control of Symbian last year – in what was seen as a counter-move to the challenge posed by Android to its huge market share.

Although Nokia remains the world’s biggest mobile handset manufacturer, its global share has slipped from 47 per cent in 2007 to 31 per cent at the end of 2008.

A Nokia spokesman was adamant there is no plan to develop a handset supporting Symbian-rival Android software.

"Absolutely no truth to this whatsoever," said the spokesman. "Everyone knows that Symbian is our preferred platform for advanced mobile devices."

The Symbian operating system, in which Nokia has invested hundreds of millions of dollars, powers its Nokia N- and E-Series phones, among others.

Nokia’s new partnership with Intel and some Android-based handsets would have been an interesting combination, no?

But if it really is to be ruled out, perhaps there is still mileage in another theory – that Nokia is using Android as a basis for a 3G- or 4G-enabled netbook-type device powered by Intel’s chips.

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