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Nokia planning Android netbook

Posted 26 June 2009 22:23 CET by Jared Newman

While PC makers Acer and HP are already exploring Android as a netbook operating system, a new competitor is coming from an unlikely space.

Nokia will begin selling an Android netbook in 2010, Lazard Capital Markets analyst Daniel Amir said. In a research note, Amir said this venture will be an “uphill battle,” but Nokia’s plan is to offer the mini-laptop through wireless carriers, who would bundle the computer with mobile broadband packages.

As there’s no official word from Nokia, there are no details on what this computer will look like. VentureBeat speculates that the netbook will be a typical tiny computer marketed as a more usable option than smartphones with data plans.

But the news could have even broader implications, given another recent announcement that Nokia and Intel will be teaming up to create new, but unannounced, products. “The Intel and Nokia effort includes collaboration in several open source mobile Linux software projects,” the press release said. A report from CrunchGear further explained that Intel would bring its Wi-Fi and WiMax offerings while acquiring Nokia’s HSPA/3G model licensing.

This paves the road for an “always connected wireless Internet access in a user-friendly pocketable form factor,” as the press release puts it, but if Nokia is getting into netbooks, it also increases the likelyhood of more robust computing options with wireless Internet access at the core.

We’re obviously deep in speculation territory now, but it’s also wishful thinking. A company named Clearwire is trying to build WiMax coverage in 80 U.S. cities by the end of 2010. If that happens, and Intel and Nokia create a computer with WiMax in mind, I’d certainly be interested.

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