Nokia's coming tablet and phablet: Rumor roundup

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.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

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, Microsoft-News.com 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 WPCentral.com). 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 WMPoweruser.com 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.

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