Jorma Ollila, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nokia Corporation, told the well respected Financial Times that Nokia has plans for tablets and "hybrid" smart devices, details nearly lost in the article focusing on how Nokia is trying to rebound from losing market share lately.
While specific on the device plans are scarce, Ollila did give a few tantalizing details in the interview, noting:
“Tablets are an important one, so that is being looked into, and there will be different hybrids, different form factors [handset designs] in the future.”
We can of course only surmise that Ollila is referring to Windows 8 plans for the fall where Nokia is expected to release such devices. Such a pronouncement echoes an earlier comment by Marko Ahtisaari, Design Chief at Nokia who said in March that he spends a third of his time at the company on tablet development.
With Nokia making advances in flexible screens, their excellent design esthetic and the new Metro layout of Windows 8, we see yet another perfect storm to take on Apple in the tablet space.
Trying to catch up to Cupertino will be exceptionally difficult for the Finnish company, as much if not more than in the smartphone realm. But if there was a perfect aligning of technology: Nokia, Windows 8 and Microsoft would be the best shot.
The other bit about "hybrids" is also fascinating as it sounds to us like something between a tablet and a smartphone is being considered, ala the Galaxy Note. While the Note with its 5.3" screen was dismissed by many as too large, the device has actually been selling quite well indicating a strong market for such hybrids.
Needless to say, this fall should be very exciting.
Ollila is stepping down from Nokia after 27 years from the company as announced late last year.