Nokia Windows RT tablet rumours: don't bet on it

Nokia Windows RT tablet rumours: don't bet on it

The last couple of days has seen a fresh wave of Nokia tablet rumours hit the mobile grapevine on the back of (unsubstantiated) claims that Microsoft is using a Nokia-built device as a testbed for its Windows RT operating system.

Now maybe it's a case of wanting the story to be true, or the fact that Nokia has never explicitly ruled out a piece of tablet action, but it seems to me this story has gained way more traction than it deserves.

But first the rumours: WMPowerUser says one if its sources has revealed that a "Nokia Windows RT tablet is currently used by Microsoft to test ARM based Windows Store apps and even sent to Microsoft partners for testing their apps".

We've also seen a couple of renders of what a Windows RT tablet would look like to whet our appetites, plus hints from a number of Nokia execs that the company is watching the tablet market closely and could well decide to throw its hat into the ring at some point.

That's all well and good in theory, but in reality there are a couple of serious reasons why the current rumours just don't make sense.

First of all there's the basic question of common sense. Nokia boss Stephen Elop has just this week admitted that sales of the first-generation Lumia Windows Phones have been disappointing, and there's no reason to suggest the current bunch have turned it around to any great degree.

Is that the time to be branching out into tablets, a completely new market that has proved an even tougher nut to crack than smartphones for nearly every company that's tried?

There's also a serious flaw in the idea that Microsoft would turn to Nokia because of their “special relationship”. That relationship relates to smartphones and the Windows Phone platform, not tablets and Windows 8, and neither party has said one word to suggest otherwise over the past 18 months.

But even leaving aside those points, why would Microsoft be testing Windows RT apps on a Nokia tablet, and why would Nokia consent to that yet-to-be-released hardware being shipped out to other Microsoft partners?

Of all the possible candidates Microsoft could turn to to build a Windows RT test device across the full spectrum of its Windows Phone and Windows partners, why choose pretty much the only one that has never actually released a tablet?

Microsoft would be just as well building a tablet itself and doing the testing on that. Oh wait...

Add a comment

satchef1  Oct. 6, 2012 at 10:51

Marko Ahtisaari (Nokia's head of design) mistakenly confirmed they are working on a tablet during an interview with a Finnish newspaper back in March. He stated that almost a third of his time is currently spent on that project. That doesn't mean to say they are actually releasing a tablet, but they've certainly been working on one. As such, it's difficult to write any subsequent rumours off, especially when the sources are reasonably credible.

JanSt / MOD  Oct. 6, 2012 at 14:14

It makes more sense that they currently deny it as to not distract from the relatively positive 'vibe' surrounding the imminent WP8 device launch.
I'd be surprised if they weren't working on a tab.

Sampo  Oct. 6, 2012 at 15:44

Actually Marko didn't say he is working on a tablet, but on some other thing other than a smart phone. That was misunrestood by the reporter.


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