According to Electric Pig:
A Nokia netbook is in the works, Nokia’s CEO has confirmed, ending months of speculation that the mobile giant could be entering the netbook market.
Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo has finally broken silence on the subject of a Nokia netbook, admitting, “we are looking very actively [at] this opportunity,” when asked if Nokia has plans to enter the laptop business.
So, a Nokia netbook is on the cards then, taking what Nokia does best in the mobile arena - cheap, powerful operating systems, tiny technology and net connectivity, and wading in to battle with the likes of the Asus Eee PC range with its own Nokia netbook.
The announcement comes just a week after Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where PC makers including Acer, HP and Lenovo unveiled new smartphone offerings, muscling in on what Nokia sees as its territory.
It is still too early to predict when Nokia will roll out its Netbooks or its UMPC but already news sites have started speculating about the death of Eee PC's and how Nokia Laptops will rule.
ARM’s multi-core Sparrow chip has just been announced last week, and Nokia is already working on it’s first compact mobile computer with some blow-out specs, running Linux OS on this CPU. But don’t get your hopes up – this Nokia device is slated only for 2011 release.
The design of Nokia Sparrow device does not follow the current netbook trend, going more the MID way, with some passing resemblance to Nokia N800 internet tablet.
It will have multi-slide keyboard, with different layouts/keys revealed as you slide it in different directions. The display also slides in several directions for different functions – think Nokia N97 tilting display.
The new Nokia computer has a very interesting keyboard with diamond shaped, elevated keys inverted to each other. At first glance it seems very uncomfortable – the keys are pretty small (about half the size of normal key), actually the device itself is rather small. But when you start typing on it, it works very well. It is very difficult to hit multiple keys with a finger, even on purpose.
The Nokia Sparrow computer has a novel, transparent widget based interface. Each running application gets it’s own semi-transparent widget to put it’s content in. Multiple applications can be stored in memory “for months”. E.g. when you are writing a document or e-mail, just swipe the finger through the screen and semi-transparent panels with active or pre-set applications and their content pop-up. Select one and you can start working with it at once.
There are also rumours that Nokia and Qualcomm are working together on Netbooks based on Qualcomms Snapdragon Chipset.
For a company like Nokia, which is investing heavily in Web and GPS services, it has become crucial to stake out a course that embraces all portable Internet devices. The Nokia N8xx series of Internet tablets are the first proof of that, but the WiMAX enabled Nokia N810 was recently cancelled. However, through the recent, and historical, agreement made with Qualcomm, Nokia is suddenly getting access to Qualcomm's Gobi and Snapdragon technology.
With old handheld giants like Intel and Dell aiming to take a bite out of the future mobile market, and with graphics specialists such as Nvidia lurking in the background, it's understandable to see former enemies joining forces against the new competition. If there's one thing nobody can afford right now, it's old battles messing up future product lines that could attract carrier interest.
As such, it comes as no surprise that Nokia, according to Reuters, is looking into expanding its portfolio to include laptops. The only question is what operating systems Nokia will opt for, which actually leads to many questions: Will Nokia boost the development pace of Linux-based Maemo? Could the Symbian Foundation be working on a new netbook platform? Will Nokia offer Windows Mobile 7 netbooks?
In the meantime, the Nokia N97 is a starting step in their Netbooks ambition.
N97 is a high-end smartphone with a 3.5 inch touch display, QWERTY keyboard and social location software to allow people to use Facebook, MySpace and other sites on the go.
For the record, Nokia calls its latest device a “mobile computer.”
Nokia’s N97 has some sweet specs (statement, Techmeme)–it supports up to 48 GB of storage, has a 5 megapixel camera, music support and DVD quality video capture. The rub: The N97 isn’t what you’d call affordable. It has an estimated retail price of 550 euro before taxes and subsidies.
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