The release of the Apple iPad has created an industry-wide craze for tablet computers, with numerous companies expected to release competing products over the summer. One such tablet is expected from Finnish phone maker Nokia, as the company looks to create new revenue streams in markets away from mobile phones.
The mobile phone giant still hasn’t officially confirmed that it is working on a tablet designed to compete with the iPad, but a product could be available as soon as October. Since the 2010 holiday shopping season will offer a wide variety of tablets — led by the iPad — it would make sense for Nokia, if it is developing a tablet, to have it available before Christmas.
“Nokia hasn’t fielded any breakaway products in years,” said Ashok Kumar, Rodman Renshaw analyst, in an interview with TheStreet.com. “This is a new window, and Nokia had better be at the starting gate if and when the product category takes off.”
I agree with Kumar on this one — Nokia continues to lose ground in the smartphone market, and needs to create an appealing product to keep consumers interested in the company’s products. I’m still skeptical as to whether or not it can do this by creating a tablet, but we’ll see at the end of the year.
Nokia is best known for mobile phones, but has experimented with other products in the past. In 2005 Nokia released the 770 tablet that ran on the Maemo Linux operating system — since then, Nokia decided to partner with Intel, and both companies hope their Meego platform will be used on multiple mobile products.
I’ve purchased a couple of netbooks in the past 12 months for personal and business use — and don’t plan on purchasing an iPad, even though it is revolutionary — but the tablet industry is expanding quickly.