As yet there's still zero concrete proof that Nokia is actively working on a tablet, but the rumours continue to circulate – mainly thanks to annoyingly ambiguous comments from a variety of Nokia top brass.
CEO Stephen Elop himself is the latest to add fuel to the speculative fire, dropping a few more hints today that should keep the rumours ticking over for another few weeks.
In comments made to reporters in Australia, Elop delivered the now familiar line that Nokia is watching the market “very closely”, and confirmed that while Windows 8 was by no means the only option, it remained the most sensible one.
Nokia's partnership with Microsoft on Windows Phone may be a close one, but it relates only to Nokia's smartphone division – its Asha feature phone arm is based on the in-house Series 40 platform, and any Nokia tablet could run a rival OS too without treading on the terms of the Windows Phone deal.
But according to Elop, that's not likely to happen.
“We would consider any option… It is important to note that the opportunity for companionship is something that any user is looking for,” he told reporters Down Under.
“So, when you think about the Lumia 920, running on Windows Phone, having a Windows tablet or PC or Xbox is something that will give us the opportunity to have a pretty integrated experience.
“Our first focus on what we look at is clearly in the Microsoft side. But we have made no decision or announced nothing.”
That much we're all well aware of, but rumours have been pointing to a Nokia slate popping up as soon as Mobile World Congress at the end of the month.
The tone of Elop's general remarks, however, suggest that's highly unlikely to happen.
“We haven’t announced tablets at this point, but it is something we are clearly looking at very closely,” Elop said.
“We are studying very closely the market right now as Microsoft has introduced the Surface tablet, so we are trying to learn from that and understand what the right way to participate would be and at what point in time.”
Very much the party line, then – as it has been all along from Nokia when talking about tablets. Elop could be sandbagging, of course, and clearly there's more going on behind the scenes than he's discussed here.
But a fully formed Nokia tablet at MWC? Seems unlikely at this stage of the game..
Via Unwired View