We may be seeing tablets of every shape and size recently but two major companies have been conspicuous by their absence. Sony fixed that oversight earlier this week, but Nokia won’t be rushing into the tablet game any time soon.
New CEO Stephen Elop has overseen a major upheaval at the company since he took over last year. Brought in to reverse the slide in popularity of Nokia’s phones in recent year, Elop’s first step was to ditch the Symbian OS in favour of Windows Phone. Earlier this week we saw the first fall-out from this new partnership, with 4,000 employees facing redundancy. Now Elop has indicated that Nokia won’t be rushing into the tablet market because they don’t want to produce just another tablet. Speaking on Finnish TV, Elop asked what was the point of being just another tablet among “200 tablets on the marketplace where only one is doing well?”
"There are now over 200 different tablets on the marketplace, only one of them is doing really well. And, my challenge to the team is I don't want to be the 201st tablet on the market that you can't tell from all of the others. We have to take a uniquely Nokia prospective and so the teams are working very hard on something that would be differentiating relative to everything else that's going on in the market."
Asked whether or not Nokia would be putting Windows 7 on their first tablet, Elop took a cautious tone, revealing little concrete detail: “We could take advantage of Microsoft technology and software, and build a Windows-oriented tablet, or we could do things with some of the other software assets that we have. Our team right now is assessing what's the right tablet strategy for Nokia." The other software assets Elop speaks of include, of course, MeeGo though it is more likely to be holding off for the more tablet specific and ARM-compatible Windows 8 due out next year.
Nokia fans hoping for a tablet release soon will be disappointed by Elop’s comments, though from a business perspective it make sense to wait and see if they can offer something different from the other 200 tablets currently on the market.