Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Nokia is said to be preparing a tablet for launch at the end of the year. Talk of the Finnish company coming out with a tablet has been circulating for sometime, and it’s not just idle speculation either, as several top Nokia executives have chatted about such a device already.
This time the rumor comes from Digitimes.com, a site known for both accurate and not-so accurate hardware predictions, but given its report expands on what we’ve already heard, it’s worthy of our attention. Quoting sources in the component supply chain, Nokia is said to have a 10-inch tablet running on a dual-core Qualcomm processor in the works, with an expected release window of the fourth quarter this year.
Nokia’s current relationship with Microsoft makes it wholly unsurprising to learn the as-yet unconfirmed tablet could run Windows 8. Microsoft has blessed its new operating system, recently released as a consumer preview, with the ability to run on ARM-based hardware, making it more suited to mobile devices.
End of the year release
The time frame given by Digitimes.com fits in with both the expected Windows 8 release window, and a possible launch during Nokia World 2012. This annual event was confirmed for 25/26 September 2012 last week, and we speculated on whether a Windows 8 tablet would be one of the stars of the show at the time.
However, the date is at odds with the statement by Nokia France’s general manager, who indicated a Windows 8 tablet would be coming in June. Made in November last year the comment may still be credible, as there was confusion surrounding the launch date of Windows 8 at the same time, and what was a June release could easily have become Christmas 2012 release shortly after he spoke.
The high level of integration between Windows 8 and Windows Phone means such as device would make sense for Nokia. It also wouldn’t be the first time the company has deviated from producing mobile phones, as in the past it has released the gorgeous-but-hugely-expensive Nokia Booklet netbook and the unusual N810, a precursor to modern tablets.
Windows Phone integration
Nokia may not be the only one showing-off a sparkly new Windows 8 tablet at the end of the year though, as we’ve already seen a Samsung model demonstrated, plus Acer, Lenovo, HP and Dell have all been linked to Windows 8 tablets.
But Nokia’s growing familiarity with the Windows Phone platform could really help differentiate its own offering, by providing not only a similarly cool design shared with the Lumia range of phones, but with its own exclusive software too. This leads to the dream scenario of a Nokia tablet complimenting a Nokia phone, a strategy Apple has perfected, but Research in Motion has shown isn’t always so successful.
With an exact Windows 8 release date unknown, and Nokia World still six months away, it’s going to be a while before these rumored plans receive any official validation.