Mobility

Nokia Ponders Making A Laptop

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

With laptop makers moving into the phone sector, Nokia is considering joining the netbook onslaught at the lower end of the laptop market

Nokia has confirmed rumours that it is considering making a laptop computer. Reports suggest this might use a Taiwanese manufacturer, and either the Intel Atom processor or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon. 

With smartphones getting more intelligent, and laptops under assault from low cost netbooks, the industry has speculated that Nokia might launch a laptop of some sort. Already its N96 and similar phones are marketed as portable computers, and its E series enterprise phones are designed to take over many laptop functions.

The first confirmation that Nokia also sees the opportunity came in an interview with chief executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo on Finnish national broadcaster YLE last week.

“We are looking very actively… at this opportunity,” Kallasvuo said. “We don’t have to look even for five years from now to see that what we know as a cellphone and what we know as a PC are in many ways converging. Today we have hundreds of millions of people who are having their first Internet experience on the phone. This is a good indication.” .

The remarks come a week after PC maker Acer launched eight phones, joining its colleagues Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo.

Smartphones still have high profit margins, and are showing strong growth. But why would Nokia be interested in laptops where margins are lower and competition is furious?

“Nokia maybe nervous about entering a market segment that is already heavily commoditised, but it would be in a position to exploit its enormous scale in manufacturing, supply chain and distribution,” said Ben Wood, research director at CCS Insight, in an interview with Reuters.