Could Nokia be planning an upscaled version of its old Internet Tablet range to compete with Apple's iPad?
An industry analyst believes that Finnish mobile giant Nokia could be looking to launch an iPad-style tablet of its own, possibly built around the MeeGo Linux-based operating system.
Ashok Kumar - an analyst at Rodman Renshaw - is described by The Street
as being "close to Nokia's technology partners
" and believes that the mobile 'phone manufacturer is looking to revive its presence in the tablet industry with a touch-screen device due as early as Autumn this year.
The move would represent a re-entry into the tablet marketplace for the company, which produced one of the first true tablet form factor devices in 2005 with its Nokia 770 Internet Tablet. This was followed by the Nokia 800, and later the 810 - all of which ran the company's Linux-based Maemo operating system but were met with general apathy by the gadget-buying masses. The line was finally folded back into the company's main smartphone product range with the launch of the N900, which combined the Internet Tablet device with a mobile handset.
Despite lacklustre sales for its Internet Tablets, it's not beyond the realms of possibility for Nokia to be watching Apple's iPad with interest - although the company is keeping its cards close to its chest on this one.
If the company should enter the market, SlashGear
predicts that any slate-format device would likely run the hybridised Maemo/Moblin Linux distribution MeeGo
, based on work carried out between Nokia and Intel.
Sadly, with nothing but rumour to go on, it could be some time before we see what - if anything - Nokia has up its sleeve for the burgeoning slate-format market.
Do you think that slim and light slates could be the future of portable computing, or are you struggling to see the point of such devices? Share your thoughts over in the forums