We all guessed Nokia was working on a tablet device quite some time ago, with Nokia’s chief designer, Marko Ahtisaari, saying that he spent a considerable amount of time on the product. Unfortunately, Nokia has yet to announce such a product in any official capacity but rather continues to hint at its existence.
In an interview with the Australian Financial Review Stephen Elop, Nokia’s CEO, reiterated the company’s interest in the tablet market, saying:
We haven’t announced tablets at this point, but it is something we are clearly looking at very closely. We are studying very closely the market right now as Microsoft has introduced the Surface tablet, so we are trying to learn from that and understand what the right way to participate would be and at what point in time.
Late last year a rumor surfaced that the upcoming Nokia-branded tablet would feature an attachable keyboard similar to what Microsoft is offering for their Surface line, so it would make sense for Nokia to pay very close attention to Surface and to try an learn from Microsoft’s mistakes.
While most people would think such a tablet device would undoubtedly run Microsoft Windows RT (or even Windows 8) given the company’s partnership with Microsoft, Elop was quite keen on not burning any bridges, going as far as name-dropping Android as a potential solution. “We would consider any option [Android or Windows],” the newspaper quotes Elop as saying.
Despite all this, Elop emphasized the strong relationship that Nokia has with Microsoft and the potential of synergy between Nokia’s Lumia line and a potential Windows tablet:
It is important to note that the opportunity for companionship is something that any user is looking for. So, when you think about the Lumia 920, running on Windows phone, having a Windows tablet or PC or Xbox is something that will give us the opportunity to have a pretty integrated experience. Our first focus on what we look at is clearly in the Microsoft side.
As for when such a tablet may hit market, there was no clear indication given. There was a rumor going around that the tablet might be unveiled at Mobile World Congress, but Elop states that, “It is the case that in the months and years ahead, you will see us broaden out the portfolio, which means pushing to lower and lower price points, in some cases smaller form factors and so forth.” So it sounds like we might have to wait a few months for such a product to come to market.