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Leaked photos show the tablet in the wild

Considering its role as a pioneer of the smartphone, it's somewhat surprising that Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V) has never released what is considered by today's standards a true tablet.  The OEM did produce a Linux-powered so-called "internet tablet" (the Nokia 770) back in 2005, but at 4-inches that was more of a PDA by today's standards.

Back in 2012 Nokia was rumored to be preparing a tablet powered by Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFTWindows RT.  Rumored for a Q4 2012 launch, the tablet was reportedly going to feature an NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) Tegra processor and was separately confirmed or hinted at by two different Nokia executives.  That design was rumored to be bumped to Q1 2013 as Nokia worked on a slick book-like battery-equipped keyboard cover for the device.

But Q1 2013 came and went with no Nokia tablet, and this July sources told The Verge that the device was cancelled in favor of a full Windows 8 tablet design.

Nokia Windows RT tablet
The alleged 10.1-inch Nokia Windows RT tablet [Image Source:]

Now it appears things have come full circle.

The latest leaked images from Chinese site Digiwo show a 10.1 inch cherry-red tablet branded with a Verizon Wireless (a joint venture between Vodafone Group Plc (LON:VOD), Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)) logo, a 4G LTE symbol, and a "Windows RT" logo.

The Verge is reporting that its sources near Nokia reveal that the new design uses a Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM) Snapdragon chip and will launch next month at an event in New York City.

Here's a quick list of what's rumored about the device:
  • Codename: Vanquish
  • Launch Date: Sept. 26 (tentative)
  • OS: Windows 8.1

The spec is reportedly on par with Microsoft's rumored upcoming Surface 2 RT.
  • 2.1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core
  • 10.1 inch screen (1920x1080 pixel "full HD")
  • Ports:
    • USB 3.0 
    • Micro-HDMI
  • Connectivity
    • 802.11 b/g/n
    • LTE
  • U.S. Carriers
    • AT&T, Inc. (T)
    • Verizon Wireless
Nokia's decision to go back to Windows RT is an interesting one.  Microsoft is still standing behind the embattled ARM-based Windows platform, as is Qualcomm.  But NVIDIA recently reversed its earlier showing of support, attacking Microsoft and Windows RT for allegedly hurting its earnings.

Most OEMs are fleeing from the platform.  ASUSTek Computer, Inc. (TPE:2357) recent cancelled its plans for a Windows RT tablet.  The Lenovo Group, Ltd. (HKG:0992) discontinued the Yoga 11 RT -- one of the few third party Windows RT devices that actually made it to market.  Microsoft has cut the price of RT licenses for OEMs, but that has done little to stop the platform's chilly reception.

Back in June 2012 Microsoft launched its own slick looking Windows RT hardware -- Surface RT.  The move was meant to prod tablet makers to up their game, but it alienated some OEMs.  And things went to bad from worse when the tablet missed sales expectations, which OEMs took as a sign that even with slick hardware Windows RT devices couldn't succeed in the market.

The OEM exodus has left the Windows RT space wide open.  On the other hand no Windows RT device -- not even Surface -- has produced enough volume to date to be a true force in the tablet market.  It should be interesting to see if Nokia's decision to step aboard the struggling platform pays off or is the latest fizzle for Windows on ARM.

Sources: Digi-Wo, The Verge, Microsoft News

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By w8gaming on 8/16/2013 10:01:39 PM , Rating: 2
RT is selling lower than $400 nowadays, no?

By Samus on 8/17/2013 1:56:57 AM , Rating: 4
Does RT run WP8 apps? If not, are the apps easily ported to RT by devs to be sold through the Store?

I've thought about picking up an RT device but considering legacy support is completely off the table, it must have some stuff like Google Maps, Netflix, Out Of Milk, eBay app/notifier, etc. All of this is available for WP8, but not necessarily Windows Store.

By Bubbacub on 8/17/2013 5:37:44 AM , Rating: 2
No it doesn't run wp apps. Apparently it's easy to port to winrt. Though according to ms, its easy to port anything to winrt when it patently isn't the case (look at the hassle the vlc guys have gone through in developing a winrt vlc app)

By inighthawki on 8/17/2013 6:46:47 AM , Rating: 2
In MS's defense - whether or not it's true - no company is going to go tell their customers that it's difficult to do so ;)

By jimbo2779 on 8/17/2013 12:05:53 PM , Rating: 2
It is incredibly easy to port WP apps to WinRT apps, in most cases would be to consider screen size difference and then recompile. Far easier than porting between any other platforms (except iPhone to iPad as I would assume it would be largely the same process).

I am not familiar with VLC guys struggling with porting to WinRT but would assume that is more to do with VLC usually having more low level access to hardware that is necessary to get the best frame rates or accessing particular codecs as opposed to the platform itself.

I was looking into getting into app dev (currently a windows software dev) and Metro is a doddle to develop for.

The major downside is the current chicken and egg scenario in that there are few users so it is hard to justify dev time to the platform. Even though there are actually quite a few aps for the platform nowadays the press attention MS is getting these days is needlessly negative, this can be seen from lots of reviewers on lots of sites.

I would imagine a tablet of this power would really show what WinRT is capable of, in the past they have all been very anaemic devices trying to sell at a premium compared to the iOS and Android competition. With all of the neg press about anything MS these days hardware makers such as Nokia and MS need to be realistic with their prices of these devices or they will never fully take off.

By melgross on 8/17/2013 12:20:26 PM , Rating: 2
Really, what's the point? ARM was never intended to compete with x86, processing wise. Even though it's catching up, by having a good 50% per year speedup vs about 15% for x86. And with Haswell being no faster than the previous generation, ARM should move closer. Perhaps in a few years, if the same ratio exists, we will see ARM competing with low end x86, but not in the near future.

But still, running Desktop software on an ARM device require emulation in the same way that doing Windows software on a PPC Mac used to. And that means slow—very slow. And rewriting software, other than for simple programs, isn't as easy as some think. It's not a simple compile away, assuming that there is a compiler that will directly do that.

If Microsoft allowed RT on x86, it would be different. But what would be the point to that? It would cost the same as Win 8 on x86, which already runs Desktop software, so that would make no sense at all.

By Alexvrb on 8/17/2013 11:01:04 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a fan of x86, but saying that ARM is behind... that really depends. If you're talking about chips in the 15W+ range, sure. But in the ultra mobile space, power and thermals are the limiting factors and x86 struggles to compete with ARM, not the other way around. If you compared the performance and power consumption of this upcoming Nokia tablet to a comparably priced Intel (Atom) tablet, it's no contest. On the very high end tablets (Surface Pro etc), Intel has the performance edge, but battery life suffers and cost skyrockets.

As for saying software in general is hard to port? Well that depends on the software - what languages, what tools, etc. A lot of software is designed to be fairly portable. In some cases it really is a recompile (especially Modern apps). Most (if not all) of the software available in the store on WinRT has been compiled for both ARM and x86, for example.

Now if you're talking about legacy software, well you've got no choice but to get x86 unless it's still actively worked on and they're porting it despite the difficulties. Personally I only need to run legacy apps on a laptop or desktop anyway. If you look at the direct competition to WinRT (Android and iOS), they don't run legacy x86 software either. So as long as it has the apps I need, it's not really a disadvantage for any of these platforms. I've got other devices for older x86-only stuff.

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