August 24, 2009
Finnish mobile handset vendor Nokia confirmed expectations Monday with the launch of its first laptop product, the Booklet 3G.
Powered by Intel’s Atom processor and weighing in at 1.25kg, the Booklet runs Microsoft’s Windows operating system. It features HSPA and wifi connectivity as well as A-GPS and integrated Bluetooth.
Analysts said that Nokia’s decision to go with Windows, rather than a Linux-based OS, which had been anticipated, was the most surprising element of the announcement. But there was identifiable logic in the decision, they said.
“There has been some disappointment with Linux netbooks so far, ” said Carolina Milanesi, research director at Gartner. “Nokia’s brand is big in the mobile phone space but not in the PC space. Having Microsoft on board will give Nokia a little more strength in that market.”
While the Booklet represents Nokia’s bid to get a foothold in a new hardware sector, it is also designed to showcase the firm’s Ovi service portfolio. The launch, Nokia said, was “another important ingredient in the move towards becoming a mobile solutions company.”
Milanesi argued that the provision of a device and service ecosystem will be a key differentiator in the netbook space and will help Nokia to distinguish itself from the likes of Asus and Acer. But she added that Nokia is floundering at the top end of the mobile handset market, having not done enough to compete with the slick new wave of user interfaces led by Apple’s iPhone. “Usability issues have made it difficult for Nokia to exploit the potential of its phones,” she said.
Nokia will reveal more details about the new product at its upcoming Nokia World 09 event in September.
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