Nokia's coming tablet and phablet: Rumor roundup

Nokia's coming tablet and phablet: Rumor roundup

Summary: Nokia might be launching a Windows RT-based tablet and a Windows Phone OS-based phablet before the end of this year, if rumors are right.


Nokia fans have been hoping for months that Nokia would turn its Windows Phone know-how into a tablet and/or phablet.

Rumors are heating up that Nokia may be poised to do both this fall.

This week, blogged that a 10.1-inch, 1080p display Nokia tablet running Windows RT may be in the works. Based on information from one of the site's tipsters, such a device would be ARM-based (Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor) with 32 GB of built-in storage, include a detachable keyboad/stand and be manufactured by Compal for Nokia. Cyan would be one of the color options, the tipster said, adding that the device would be revealed by Nokia in September and launch with AT&T LTE support.

The Chinese site Digiwo posted pictures of what it claimed to be Nokia's coming 10.1-inch Windows RT tablet, as noted by The Verge. The picture shows a red tablet with both Nokia and Verizon logos. The Verge also said its sources believe the Nokia Windows RT tablet would run the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800.

In July, pictures also surfaced (no pun intended) of what looked to be a Nokia phablet in production, which were published by LiveSide from a Sina Weibo user. That device could sport a screen size as large as six inches. The image showed a device sporting the typical Windows Phone buttons. If that device does materialize, one would assume it would run the Windows Phone 8 GDR3 operating system, which adds support for larger screen sizes and 1080p resolution.

Nokia is believed to be planning a new product unveiling in New York City in late September (possibly September 26, according to Originally some expected the company to use that event to roll out the rumored phablet. But now Nokia watchers are thinking the September event may be Nokia's Windows RT tablet unveiling, instead, as blogged. A separate Nokia phablet launch could follow in early November, that site noted.

Given the Windows Phone 8 GDR2 operating system is only now starting to roll out in volume, and the GDR3 operating system is still in testing, it would make more sense for Nokia's September announcement to be the Windows RT tablet rather than the phablet. Microsoft is expected to release to manufacturing the Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 operating systems in the next week or so. General availability of 8.1 isn't slated until October 18.

Topics: Mobility, Microsoft, Nokia, Smartphones, Tablets, PCs, Windows 8, Windows Phone


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Love the idea of a Nokia tablet. Hate the idea of RT.

    RT is dead already. Give me Windows 8 and you may get my money.
    x I'm tc
    • RT is not dead...

      ...although maybe life support! I think the 8.1 update that will allow for the 7-8" tablets and sub $300 prices will make a huge difference.
      • RT should be used for mini-tablets...

        RT should be used for mini-tablets & for Windows Phones (eventually), where there's no use for a "desktop."

        Atom chips could then be used for low-end, full-size Windows tablets.

        And Haswell could be used for high-end tablets & ultrabooks/convertibles and be called "Pro."

        This would help clarify the differences between them.
    • Agreed

      They should go with an Atom processor running full Windows 8. The Atom tablets are nearly the same price but you get so much more functionality. That is what I think MS needs to do with the Surface. Ditch the production of another Surface RT and go with just plain Surface and Surface Pro.
      • Even if Atom had the same power profile as ARM

        It wouldn't get the same battery life. The thing about RT is that *everything* in it is engineered to extend the battery life. Once you got with Atom, that goes away. Also, once you start running Win32 apps (and services and all the other goop that legacy Windows implies), you start running apps that aren't tuned to run on a low power device.

        What do you need in a small tablet that doesn't run on RT? Visual Studio? AutoCAD? Photoshop? Everything that I want to run on a "Windows Tablet" runs on my Surface RT - a browser, an email client, contacts/calendar, videos, games, Office...
        • Nonsense

          Existing Atom tablets already get equal or better battery life than comparable ARM tablets, and Bay Trail smokes the ARM competition. And the gap will likely widen, not narrow, over the next few years.

          ARM no longer has a reason to be.
          x I'm tc
          • Did ARMs just go static?

            Yes, current Atom processors are equivalent to what Surface RT had in terms of battery and power but current ARMs processors have advanced just like the Atom ones have. We tested some Atom based tablets at work and they all came off as a bit sluggish compared to the Surface RT. And MS released a load of firmware and software updates along with the 8.1 preview which made the RT run even better. With the new and improved ARMs chips, I expect the new batch of RT devices to have iPad like fluidness and 10+ hours of battery.

            With W8 SkyDrive sync baked in, IMHO, if you want a tablet just get an RT that is lighter, faster, thinner, and cheaper and then get a desktop or laptop as your real PC. All your stuff will sync between them and you can even setup your home system with RDP or TeamViewer to access any legacy apps that you just have to use.

            AMD is about to release x64 bit ARMs chips (mostly for servers) and a W8 RT running on these would scream.
            Rann Xeroxx
          • Why not save $500 and just buy one device?

            Asus Vivotab smart is selling for $400 and maybe $100 more for the cover and keyboard accessory. Acer W510 with keyboard dock for similar price.

            The Asus is about 1mm thicker, ounce heavier, but has double the storage and 1.5 hour more battery life than the VivotabRT. Plus it offers all the WindowsRT apps and desktop programs.

            WindowsRT is nice, but there are so many sacrifices to be made compared to a Windows8 tablet without offering significant benefits.
          • the point is...

   can do all that with an ipad or Android tablet as well.
            But you could get loads of Apps for Android or iOS, while you can't for RT.
            Not to mention that the windows desktop sucks on a tablet.
          • Trust Android fan

            OS full of Apps is a gimmick and hypes. How many Apps do you really use or can put in your iPad or Android?
            When I got a windows 7 phone against bloggers noise of lack of Apps, I was able to downloaded 130+ Apps and games. I use about 5 Apps daily, another 5 occasionally and for the games, maybe played 6 games occasionally.
          • Another Point is...

            An iPad does not have directories and my iPad 3 replaced all the names on my photos with meaningless numbers when I imported them. The Surface has 2MB RAM, the iPad 3 has 1MB. The Pages program takes ages ro load whereas Word loads very fast in Surface RT. I've played around on Surface as it is nifty.
          • Thumbs down

            I believe if MS and Nokia want to come out with Windows RT devices, along with Windows 8 Atom devices, then that would be great. But if they have to prioritize, come out with Windows 8.1 devices, because lots of people need backwards compatibility. The opportunity cost of going with Windows RT for MS has been significant. The opportunity cost Nokia is going to incur will be significant as well. MS and Nokia could sell Atom based 10" and sub 10" tablets within the business market, as document consumption / portable communication devices with relative ease. MS' customers in general overwhelmingly demand backwards compatibility with their devices, and for some incomprehensible reason, MS and Nokia are ignoring them. I just don't get it.

            As for using the desktop on small screens; just include styluses with these devices so that the desktop can effectively be used. I think what Nokia is doing, is absolutely stupid.
            P. Douglas
          • I should've read your comment

            You are bang on! I won't have made a comment if I have read yours
          • Exactly, Windows RT (ARM) is the future for the masses.

            For the masses, RT (ARM) is much better then Intel based tablets.

            + Thinner then intel based
            + Cheaper then intel based
            + Works without a cooler
            + Better battery life
            + Office is included
            + Safer for users. They do not install any crap on those machines which will make them slow after a year!!!

            - Cannot run Windows desktop apps (first ask yourself, if you need them on a tablet machine)

            So, if you are thinking about a tablet and you just use it for browsing, checking e-mails, working with office - RT device is perfect for you.
            Don't let yourself listning salesman crap, that you NEED full Windows 8 tablet!
          • Re: Bay Trail smokes the ARM competition

            That version of AnTuTu built with the "special" version of the Intel C compiler has been withdrawn.

        • Your just wrong

          Windows 8 is engineered to save battery life, we have Full Windows 8 tablets on the market that sport 10+ hours of battery life. The next generation of atoms boost performance and decrease battery usage further, so 14+ hours is on the horizon.
          • Maybe you should post the list of Win8 tablets ...

            ... that you say "sport 10+ hours of battery life". And note, it is not "claimed battery life". We want REAL battery life.

            It would be nice to see, since nobody can find them in real life.
        • The problem is Atom sucks for performance

          I see where MS is going, but it's a hard sell. When you open the world to being able to run desktop apps, you imply that the system will be performant doing so. I don't mean for Photoshop or AutoCAD, but for basic things even like Quicken, Office, etc. And it just isn't. Quicken sucks on Atom.

          So do you want something that can't run them at all (I understand the WinRT/Store issue aside), where most of those apps are very performant on RT and ARM.

          Or the implication to millions of people who don't understand and find out that the $300-$400 atom tablet they bought that will run desktop apps, but ends up doing so sh***ily and then they return it frustrated and they 'blame it on Windows'.

          It's a tough sell. And one Apple and Android don't have. You either buy an Apple 'i' something for $300-$700 and it's very performant and only runs apps built for it (no Mac apps), or you spend $1200-$2000 to get a Mac that runs your desktop apps but none of your 'i' apps.

          There is a reason Apple doesn't have a $800 convertible, as they believe the tradeoffs made basically suck.
          Michael L Jones
      • Bad news and everybody is an expert

        Yeah their two issue with Windows 8, do you really needs it on tiny thing like 7-8" tablet? Inefficiency, It will be waste of hard drive space, CPU and your money. RT is suitable for tablets than Win8, unless you want to be like iPad users who pretend to be working.
    • And... What, you are going to run desktop pc software on a tablet?

      The main reason why RT makes sense is that a desktop application doesn’t make any sense on a mobile, touch oriented, small screen device. RT can run Office, the File Manager, and other configuration apps of Windows. But, do we really need the desktop for that?

      I own a surface RT. It comes with Office but to be honest, even if I use Words, Excel and Outlook a lot at work, I just don’t use it that much on my Surface. To read stuff maybe, but not for editing documents that much. The screen is simply too small to be comfortable and productive. I would rather use a Metro (New U.I.) version of Office. I don’t see the point in using Photoshop, Visual Studio or Visio either on a tablet. These are software designed to use on a non-mobile, keyboard /mouse, larger screen environment.

      The only reason why I still use the desktop on my Surface is to run the File Explorer which is by far the best file manager on any tablets out there by a zillion miles. The new tabs make it “Usable” on a touch oriented devise.

      On the other end, when I do need to run a desktop app, I simply run remote desktop, connect to my remote PC, and then I plug in my touch cover and mouse. I never occurred to me that a full version of Windows would have been better. Not with Remote desktop installed and of course Team viewer.

      RT is better than IOS in every single way and nobody is complaining over IOS. I don’t get why it causes such a reaction amongst the ones that have not even tried it. MS should have called it RT and Not Windows RT, completely remove the desktop and create a metro File Manager. I would probably not have caused the same reaction because it would have competed with IOS head to head.