Nokia may not have tossed its complete lot in with Windows Phone, after all. The Finnish company is reportedly in talks with Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Compal Electronics to develop a 10-inch Windows RT tablet, which could be unveiled as early as next February at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona.
Nokia originally wanted to start development on a dual-core tablet early in 2012, DigiTimes‘ as-always-anonymous supply chain sources claim, but Microsoft’s decision to release the Surface tablet cooled Nokia’s rush to market. Instead, the company decided to focus on its Lumia smartphones.
DigiTimes’ sources are renowned for their hit-and-miss accuracy, but this one actually has quite a bit of pedigree to back it up. All the way back in May, Nokia chairman Jorma Ollila told the Financial Times that the company was exploring the tablet market. Even before that, the Finnish newspaper Kauppalehti Optio reported (via Reuters) that Nokia design honcho Marko Ahtisaari was spending a full third of his time tinkering with tablet designs.
“We are working on it,” the paper quoted him as saying, though Nokia spokespeople would only say that the company was continuing “to eye the tablet space with interest.”
Nokia’s known for putting its own unique spin on hardware, and if the rumors bear fruit, we’d expect to see proprietary software similar to the Lumia line’s City Lens and Nokia Music pop up in the tablet. Nokia Maps certainly trumps Windows RT’s baked-in Maps app. Could a bright blue tablet be just what the doctor ordered, both for Nokia’s slumping stock price and Windows RT’s lackluster early adoption rates? Time will soon tell if the report proves true.