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Nokia CEO hesitant to release a tablet

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We’re pretty sure Nokia is working on tablets, but how and when it will enter the market is anybody’s guess. In an interview with YLE, a Finnish broadcaster, the mobile manufacturer’s CEO, Stephen Elop, did not reveal Nokia’s plans, but did say that it is in no rush to join the tablet race, reports MocoNews.

“There are now over 200 different tablets on the marketplace, and only one of them is doing really well,” said Elop, referring to the iPad. “My challenge to the team is that I don’t want [Nokia’s] to be the 201st tablet on the market that you can’t tell from all of the others. We have to take a uniquely Nokia perspective. So the team is taking working hard on something that would be differentiated from the others on the market…We are in a hurry, but it’s a hurry to do the right thing.”

Elop also hinted that a Nokia tablet may or may not run Windows software. “We can build a Windows-oriented tablet, or we could do things with the other software assets we have,” he said. Despite its agreement with Microsoft, it seems that Nokia is keeping its options open.

Aside from these already vague nuggets of information, Elop revealed little else except that 2012 will be a big year for Nokia. He hinted that it’s possible that it could unveil its first line of Windows Phone devices in late 2011, but remained non-committal. However, he was direct about who he sees as his competition: Android. While Apple caters more to a high-end market, Android devices cover a range of price points, much like Nokia.

Nokia may be wise to hold off on tablet development. While there are a lot of tablets, Elop is right in that only the iPad has proven a success so far. Many tablets, like the PlayBook, have been criticized for launching unfinished and ill-fit to take on the iPad. Nokia must avoid this label if it hopes to compete.

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