Nokia Design Chief Confirms Tablet Development


Nokia’s design boss has reportedly said he is spending a third of his time working on a new tablet device

Nokia is looking to enter the tablet fray after design chief Marko Ahtisaari reportedly confirmed the development of a tablet, presumably running Windows 8.

Ahtisaari told the Finnish magazine Kauppalehti Optio that “we are working” on a tablet, according to Reuters. He also suggested he spends a third of his time on the unnamed device.

Tablet Rumours

This isn’t the first time similar rumours have emerged: A 12 March 12 article in DigiTimes suggested that Nokia would launch a Windows 8 tablet sometime in the fourth quarter of 2012, complete with a 10-inch screen and a Qualcomm dual-core chipset.

That information came from unnamed sources among “upstream component suppliers,” who predicted that “Nokia’s venture into the tablet PC market will also further intensify competition among non-iPad tablet PC vendors.”

Nokia and Microsoft already have a tight relationship centered on Windows Phone, which replaced Symbian and other homegrown platforms as the former’s primary mobile operating system.

In addition, Nokia clearly recognises the need to expand onto form factors beyond smartphones. In a form filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission 8 March, the company suggested that “adjacent products” such as tablets could potentially threaten its attempts to gain market share in smartphones, since consumers and businesses increasingly bind themselves into multiple-device ecosystems from a single vendor.

“If our competitors succeed in capturing markets where we are not currently present, this could erode our competitive position,” read one section of the filing. “For instance, we currently do not have tablets or other adjacent products in our mobile product portfolio, which may result in our inability to compete effectively in the tablet and developing multi-screen market segments in the future or forgoing those potential growth opportunities.”

Different Form Factors

And on top of that, Nokia’s engineers have demonstrated a willingness to experiment with technology. Its recently unveiled PureView smartphone, for example, features a 41-megapixel camera sensor backed by new recording and image technology.

In 2012 so far, Nokia has concentrated its public efforts on establishing itself as the pre-eminent purveyor of Windows Phones, having introduced models at the high (the Lumia 900), medium (the Lumia 710) and low (Lumia 610) price points.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is ramping up Windows 8 for its final release sometime in late 2012. The upcoming operating system features a Start screen of colourful, touch-friendly tiles linked to applications, the better to operate on tablets.

How much do you really know about tablets? Test out your knowledge with our quiz.

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