As soon as Nokia sent out invites for its Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2013 press conference on February 25, the gossip mongers started talking about an upcoming tablet. So the folks at Australian Financial Review
thought it would be good idea to quiz the Nokia about the same. In his reply, Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia did not deny that the company's interest in this tablet space..
"We haven't announced tablets at this point, but it is something we are clearly looking at very closely," Elop said. "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."
There have been rumours regarding Nokia working on a tablet device that date back to March 2012. Even in May 2012, Nokia's chairman, Jorma Ollila, had hinted that the company may launch range of tablets and "hybrid" smart mobile devices. Later in December, there were reports that Nokia is planning to launch a 10-inch Windows RT tablet at the MWC and this tablet may come with an additional detachable keyboard just like Microsoft's Surface tablet.
Tablet as a category has witnessed a huge jump in the last year. As per IDC report, a total of 52.5 million tablets were shipped in the last quarter of 2012, which is a 74.3 percent increase from the third quarter and up 75.3 percent from 2011's fourth quarter. So it is no surprise that Nokia is now keen on entering this space.
It is likely that Nokia will look at harnessing their current relationship with Microsoft and may launch a Windows RT tablet. However, Elop in his recent interview mentioned that the company is open to consider any option. At the same time, he did mention that having a Windows tablet offering will help them in offering an integrated experience.
"We would consider any option [Android or Windows] ... 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," Mr Elop said.
It would be interesting to see if Nokia would indeed consider the Android operating system as an option for its tablets. The last time news regarding the Finnish handset maker being associated with Android broke, the CEO had blamed the translator and put that story to rest.
The CEO also mentioned that they are open to all possible sizes in the tablet market and see merit in 7-inch models as well as the 10-inch ones. So guess we will have to wait a wee bit longer to see what Nokia will have to offer in terms of a tablet device.