Nokia May Be Developing an iPad Competitor

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Nokia is breaking away from its smartphone roots again and taking another stab at a tablet computer, according to an industry analyst.

Ashok Kumar, an analyst with Rodman Renshaw , cited industry sources when he said Nokia is in the process of designing a device that will compete with the Apple iPad. However, he wasn’t able to offer details on the upcoming model.

Still, most of devices it will be competing with sport 9-10 inch displays, so Nokia’s offering will likely be in that ballpark.

It May Go MeeGo
Whatever it ends up looking like, the tablet will almost certainly run MeeGo, a Linux-based operating system that is still in development by Nokia and Intel. This is going to merge Nokia’s Maemo OS with Intel’s Moblin platform.

The OS is being designed to run on a range of devices, including pocketable mobile computers, netbooks, tablets, and smartphones.

Nokia and Intel said they expect to have the first version of MeeGo finished in the second quarter of 2010, with devices launching later in the year.

Nokia N810 Internet TabletTake Two
Nokia has tried this product category before, with limited success. In 2005, the company released the first of its Internet Tablet series. This was later followed by a handful of other models.

They were relatively small for tablets, with 4.1-inch touchscreens with a WVGA resolution. Later models ran the Maemo OS, and included sliding keyboards. (See image at right)

The models depended on Wi-Fi for Internet connectivity, but the last hurrah of the Maemo OS was the Nokia N900, a smartphone that debuted just a few months ago but has already been orphaned by Nokia’s move to MeeGo.

Although the Internet Tablet models had their fans, they were never more than niche products. Only time will tell if Nokia’s next attempt at tablet computers will be a success.

Source: The Street

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