updated 08:00 am EDT, Thu March 15, 2012
Nokia officially leaps into tablets
Nokia's design head Marko Ahtisaari confirmed in an interview [full content currently paper-only] that the company was developing a tablet. Without saying what it involved, he promised Kauppalehti Optio that it would be unique in a sea of would-be iPad rivals. The device was important enough that it was consuming a third of Ahtisaari's time.
"We are working on it," he said directly.
It was also hinted that Ahtisaari was working on a "revolutionary" phone that wouldn't require users touch the screen. Whether this meant a proximity-sensing screen like on the Sony Xperia sola or something entirely new wasn't clear.
Nokia's tablet is believed to be a Windows 8 design using a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core chip. If true, it would depend almost exclusively on Metro-based apps and wouldn't have access to legacy or traditionally designed Windows apps. Apart from using Microsoft's new OS, it's uncertain what Nokia would do to create a significantly different experience than other Windows tablet supporters, although it has relied on upscale design and special apps for phones like the Lumia 800.
Tablets aren't new to Nokia, which had been releasing Maemo-based tablets for years before the iPad. Much like Microsoft, however, its tablet platform was always relegated to niche status. Nokia had already ceased producing its most recent tablets by the time the first iPad arrived in April 2010. Any Windows 8 tablet is likely to face an uphill battle, both out of the iPad's much larger influence and of hardware limits like display resolution. [via Reuters]