Nokia plans to launch a Windows tablet next summer, as the handset maker banks on the newest iteration of Microsoft’s OS to revive its struggling brand.
“In June 2012, we will have a tablet that runs on Windows 8,” Paul Amsellem, Nokia France head, told French newspaper Les Echos.
His remarks were not the first time the Finnish phone maker has mentioned a possible foray into the tablet market. Last month, CEO Stephen Elop told interviewers the company’s Windows phones are just one small example of planned Nokia products featuring Microsoft’s interface and operating system.
Nokia is still one of the world’s largest cell phone makers, mostly due to its numerous low-end feature phones. However, as the iPhone and high-end Android handsets grabbed customers over the past few years, Nokia’s position in the market has steadily dropped.
Nokia’s new line of smartphones, Lumia, was unveiled in Europe this month, but won’t be available in the U.S. until next year. These represent the first Nokia products running the Windows OS, and Nokia is likely relying on them to help regain some cell phone market share.
Nokis is also eyeing the increasingly hot tablet market to revitalize its brand. If the company indeed launches a Windows 8 tablet next year, it is expected to go head-to-head against the iPad and Android tablets such as the Kindle Fire and the Nook, as well as other Windows tablets, including possible offerings from Hewlett-Packard and Dell.
The iPad is currently the dominant tablet, but Android models from companies like Amazon and Barnes & Noble are starting to draw in consumers with lower-priced models that may appeal to people looking to use a tablet mostly for reading magazines and books. As competing tablet makers fight for position, Nokia will likely define its own appeal. If the company can offer tablets to PC users who are longstanding Windows customers, it may open its own spot in the crowded field.
Nokia’s Windows 8 tablet is still in the rumor stage, with company spokespeople rushing to say the company has no specific plans to unveil such a device. All eyes will likely be on the Finnish company next year, waiting for a more definitive announcement.