Is Nokia working on Booklet Touch – Windows 7 based tablet?
Well, here we go again. Another round of new Nokia device and even form factor rumors.
This time it comes from Ashok Kumar, analyst at Rodman Renshaw, via TheStreet.com.
According to their sources, Nokia is working with suppliers and design manufacturers on a touchscreen tablet, to have it available as early as this fall.
So how much truth is there in this rumor?
Well, while while The Street’s Scott Moritz/Ashok Kumar does not have a perfect record, and can be completely wrong in some details, they’ve made quite a few good calls over the last year I’ve been watching them. These include things like Nokia N900 last April, Google’s Nexus One last October, or Verizon’s cooling towards Palm Pre last September.
So yep, I believe that there is a solid amount of truth in the latest rumor about the upcoming Nokia tablet. The question is, what kind of device are we talking about, that can be ready for release this fall?
This can be Nokia N900 successor, running Maemo/MeeGo OS. But I do not believe it. From all the things we hear about it, the N900 successor is nowhere near a tablet form factor. Most likely, it’s a significantly thinner, better designed version of N900, something pretty close to project Nautilus we talked about a year ago. To call it a tablet would be a big stretch. And, I believe, we would have heard something already by now, if Nokia was working on another, bigger Maemo/MeeGo device for this fall.
So, while I think that there’s a very good chance that we will get Meego tablet device from Nokia in late 2011/2012, as the merged OS matures, I also think that there is no chance that we’ll see a tablet from Nokia, running Maemo/MeeGo OS this year.
But Windows 7 based tablet from Nokia, is a much more likely product to happen this year, and I think this is the device TheStreet.com is talking about.
There’s another clue in Kumar’s comments, that points towards Windows 7 based tablet from Nokia. He says that Nokia is working with design manufacturers on a touch-screen tablet.
As far as I know, Nokia designs and manufactures most of it’s devices itself. Outsourcing only production of cheaper, less impoirtant models to OEMs. Nokia has used the design manufacturers for only one of it’s major products in the recent past. That was the first Nokia netbook – Booklet 3G.
And while Booklet 3G wasn’t a roaring success, it wasn’t a failure for Nokia either. It was a cheap experiment on what Nokia’s brand name and carrier relations can do in a new market of ultra portable, 3G connected personal computers. I’ve written in depth about Nokia Netbook strategy here.
This is a logical extension of that strategy. The hardware got better in a year, Windows 7 have been tweaked and adapted to tablet use, and Nokia already has a team that did a pretty good job designing and launching a Windows based ultra portable, 3G connected device. Put that team on a new Windows 7 tablet, and you can a have a new, pretty interesting product ready to ship in a few months.
And I think Nokia Booklet Touch, a new Windows 7 based tablet device is exactly what we are going to see this fall.
Also, since this a completely new device category, with usage models that are significantly different from traditional laptop, even Windows based Nokia tablet has a pretty good chance of succeeding against the traditional PC rivals.