Patents filed in May 2010, fate unknown

Now that the tablet market has stretched its legs, all those who waited on the sidelines are eager to jump in. According to Engadget, Nokia filed for patents for two tablet devices of its own.

The embattled Finnish company, which recently announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft, applied for the patents back in May 2010. The United States Patent and Trademark Office just published the documents, though the timing implies that the two devices are scrapped MeeGo-powered devices that never made it to see the light of day.

Still, nothing is confirmed, and the possibility that either (or both) of these tablets will go into production is still there.

Both devices are thin, touch-only slates with a single identifiable button. One seemingly takes its design cues from the Nokia N8, with its curved body. The other is more conventional, with a U-shaped shell. Though the dotted lines in the rendering are outside the patent, they suggest that both devices would come equipped with a 3.5-mm headphone jack, a pair of USB ports, a card reader, and possibly an HDMI-out.

The timing of the filing suggests that Nokia was responding to Apple's original iPad launch. Nokia is no stranger to tablets, but past efforts have been thick and keyboard-driven.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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