Amid its smartphone slump Finnish phonemaker Nokia may look to new markets for a pick-me-up -- namely, the lucrative tablet market.
Thus far the challenge to Apple dominant iPad has been weak at best, with only the Amazon.com, Kindle Fire managing to secure a significant chunk of sales. Thus the door remains wide open for Windows 8 tablets -- tablets which will likely run Windows 8 RT, a special ARM-friendly OS release.
Following Nokia design head Marko Ahtisaari's March confirmation that a tablet was in the works, another Nokia executive has dropped hints at upcoming product. Jarma Ollila, Nokia's departing Chairman, told The Financial Times in an interview, "Tablets are an important [product], so that is being looked into, and there will be different hybrids, different form factors in the future."
Intel has been pushing the idea of "hybrid" Windows 8 ultrabooks hard. Designs like the eye catching Lenovo "Yoga" design have been drawing considerable attention.
Thus one could expect Nokia's upcoming lineup to feature a mixture of Intel x86 hybrids and ARM tablets.
Nokia and Microsoft remain closely tied. In exchange for Windows Phone adoption, Microsoft is helping to keep Nokia afloat financially through the painful transition. Nokia's new CEO Stephen Elop served as a Microsoft Canada executive before moving into his current position.
Microsoft, like Canada's Research in Motion is trying hard to sell Windows 8 tablets as a companion device to its smartphones. While details are scarce, Windows Phone 8 is expected to feature special features to increase interaction with tablets.