NFC-enabled Nokia laptop/netbook in the works?

Continuing from my previous post, I wonder what in the world Nokia will actually announce on the very first day of Nokia World 2008. There haven’t been any leaks happening recently, which is good for Nokia, but bad for us who want to know their latest devices and product offerings.

I originally believed that there will be no other major product announcements until February 2009 and Mobile World Congress, but obviously, that’s not the case. And if Robert Scoble’s short conversation with the Nokia exec who met him at Barcelona is any indication, we just might be seeing an entirely new kind of Nokia device by the time Nokia World kicks off in a few hours.

But aside from wild speculation and imaginative guessing, I’ve done some digging and these are the few things that I’ve found out.

New phones and Internet services

Handelsbanken analyst Jan Dworsky says, “I’m sure there will be a few new phones shown on Tuesday and Wednesday, something in the smartphone and touchscreen area,” according to a report from Reuters. I couldn’t have said it better myself. But that’s essentially a given, after all the clues provided by Nokia and Nokia-related sites, after all. The same report from where the earlier quote was taken also mentions an impending announcement of new Internet services from Nokia.

Desktop. Laptop. Pocket.

And if that snazzy, Nseries-themed countdown timer from Nokia that you’ve been seeing all day wasn’t enough, the Nokia World home page from Nokia’s site now shows a new banner, with the words “Desktop. Laptop. Pocket. Discover more,” written on it. So does this mean that Nokia is creating a computer of some sort, possibly a small laptop or netbook? I say likely.

The Nokia netbook

Then, a new research note from UBS analyst Maynard Um all but confirms my dearest speculation. Coincidence?

Pasted below are several key points from Um’s note, all of which reinforce the idea of a coming Nokia Internet tablet or new netbook-like device:

“Given the rise of net-books/dongles sales, convergence between high-end mobile phones and laptops, and forays by computer manufacturers (Apple, HP) into smartphones, we think it is only a matter of time before Nokia launches notebook type devices.”

“Our checks indicate Nokia may be working on a 9”-10” notebook/tablet PC with a second OLED display, touchpad, near field communication (NFC) capability, HDMI out, and Linux OS. Given its seemingly higher end functionality, we do not think it will compete in the traditional netbook (~US$400) market.”

In his research note, Um was also careful to mention that he doesn’t expect the new products to hit (if they’re even announced at all in the first place) until Q3 2009 at the earliest.

What this all comes down to

Well, there we have all the clues. Though we really can’t say for sure until we hear the official announcement straight from Nokia, all of what we’ve gathered point to the same idea: that Nokia is working a new, ground-breaking device that should bring it to the top of the smartphone heap and keep it there for years to come.

Whether it’s from the Nseries, Eseries, or their line of Internet Tablets, we don’t yet know. But it is going to be so big, that Nokia has exerted this much effort in promoting it. It’s so big that a Nokia exec can laugh at the Internet for not being able to break such juicy insider news.

What we can confirm, though, is that if Nokia doesn’t fulfill its implicit promise of an extraordinarily unique device (like the Nokia N95 was when it was first announced), we might as well say goodbye to it like we have said goodbye to Motorola. We won’t say it to their face, but we’ll just quietly walk out of their world, and into that of Apple, RIM, Samsung, or LG.

Personally, I would prefer a Nokia netbook. Powered by either the Symbian OS or Maemo, it might even take away the market share of currently existing netbooks from other manufacturers. But I guess a more powerful handheld smartphone would be enough. One that would last me the whole day or more, just like a cellphone, but enable me to do much more than I could ever be able to do on a 3.5-inch screened, candy-bar type device.

That’s about all I’ve got about the issue at hand. And as for Nokia, I have but one last thing to say: fail me, and you fail yourself. The world’s jaws are waiting. It’s up to you to make them drop.

Author: David Gonzales

I run the blogosphere.

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