updated 08:50 am EDT, Mon March 12, 2012
Nokia may join Windows 8 tablet race by late 2012
Nokia's repeated hints of tablet plans might come to fruition if rumors circulating Monday are accurate. The Finnish firm was said by Digitimes' usual part supplier sources to be readying a 10-inch Windows 8 tablet using a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. Compal would build the tablet, which wouldn't be in stores until late 2012 "at the earliest," the tipsters claimed.
Expectations for demand would be modest at best. An initial production run would amount to just 200,000 units, or just slightly more than the number of iPads Apple sells in one day, based on its fall results. While production could scale up, it would imply that Nokia was experimenting, much as it did with the Booklet 3G netbook.
While still unconfirmed, it would corroborate executive remarks mentioning a Windows 8 tablet in the works. The company had also patented tablet designs that showed it was at least thinking about tablets over a year ago. Nokia's CEO has usually said he didn't want to produce a tablet unless Nokia could offer something unique.
Going to ARM would parallel Nokia's existing smartphone focus, but would also carry inherent limits. It will get only partial desktop support and won't handle plugins like Intel-based versions. Nokia wouldn't have the attachment to legacy Windows apps of traditional PC builders, but it will also be trying to offer a tablet with a new, untested OS in conditions where Android and the iPad currently dominate the market.