updated 07:50 am EST, Wed November 16, 2011
Nokia backs tablet plans and faster Windows Phone
Nokia's new French head Paul Amsellem may have inadvertently spoiled CEO Stephen Elop's teaser for a Windows 8 tablet in an interview with local paper Les Echos. He expected a Windows 8 tablet to be ready in June. The timing, if true, would support talk of a rushed Windows 8 launch to theoretically stem losses to Apple's iPad in the market.
Amsellem also hinted that the current Lumia phones were just mid-range models and that there would be high- and low-end models. "It's a bit like the BMW 5 series," he said. "We will soon have a complete range with a 7 series and 3 series."
He hoped Nokia would carve out 22 percent market share in France with Windows Phone and was following Microsoft's approach of targeting newcomers to smartphones. About 60 percent of the French didn't have a smartphone, Amsellem said. To help, Nokia was selling the Lumia 800 at a very aggressive price, undercutting the faster but costlier Galaxy S II and iPhone 4S.
While it was known Nokia was moving its smartphones into Windows Phone as it's phasing out its aging Symbian platform, the tablet initiative would have Nokia committing more to Microsoft than originally thought. The company had largely abandoned tablets after phasing out the Maemo-based N810, but all of its public talk has focused on its phone strategy. Microsoft may be hoping that Nokia's profile as a large mobile company may help get Windows 8 tablets much-needed recognition after Windows 7 tablets were almost instantly overtaken by the iPad and Android.