Nokia Windows 8 tablet chatter resurfaces

Reports suggest a dual-core ARM-based tablet with a 10-inch display is in the works but won't surface until late this year.

A new report claims to have details on a Nokia Windows 8 tablet, including some specs and release timing.

The tablet will run on a dual-core ARM-based processor and have a 10-inch display, unnamed supplier sources told DigiTimes. Nokia is reportedly aiming to launch its Windows 8 tablet in the fourth quarter of 2012 at the earliest.

This isn't the first talk of Windows tablet from Nokia. Last November, Paul Amsellem, the manager of Nokia's French division, told newspaper Les Echos that the company would have a tablet that runs Windows 8 in June 2012. That seems a bit soon, given that Microsoft hasn't even announced a Windows 8 release date yet, but it leaves little room for doubt that Nokia and Microsoft are working on something.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has also added fuel to the fire, saying in April 2011 that the company was assessing its tablet strategy. "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," he said in an interview with Finland's YLE television.

In smartphones, Nokia has essentially bet its future on Microsoft. The companies announced a close partnership last year that will see Nokia phasing out its other operating systems and focusing on Windows Phone. With Microsoft expected to merge its phone and PC operating systems, Nokia seems likely to expand from phones to tablets.

If Nokia is working on a Windows 8 tablet, it won't be the first time the company tries to cash in on a computing craze. In 2009, Nokia built a netbook running Windows 7, with built-in 3G, GPS and premium materials such as aluminum and glass. The Booklet 3G's $299 price tag seemed reasonable, except that it required a two-year mobile data plan, which ensured that the product would flop.

Nokia hasn't touched the PC market since then. If Nokia's Windows Phones can bring some new life to the brand, and the company can avoid leaning on carrier subsidies to keep prices down, a Nokia Windows 8 tablet may have a fighting chance.

Follow Jared on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ as well as Today @ PCWorld for even more tech news and commentary.

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Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
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