Nokia's First Tablet Nears Market, to Boost Struggling Windows RT
August 16, 2013 7:17 PM
comment(s) - last by
Leaked photos show the tablet in the wild
Considering its role as a pioneer of the smartphone, it's somewhat surprising that
) 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 (
. Rumored for a Q4 2012 launch, the tablet was reportedly going to feature an NVIDIA Corp. (
) 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
for the device.
But Q1 2013 came and went with no Nokia tablet, and this July
that the device was cancelled in favor of a full Windows 8 tablet design.
The alleged 10.1-inch Nokia Windows RT tablet [Image Source: Digi-wo.com]
Now it appears things have come full circle.
The latest leaked images from Chinese site
show a 10.1 inch cherry-red tablet branded with a Verizon Wireless (a joint venture between Vodafone Group Plc (
), Verizon Communications Inc. (
)) logo, a 4G LTE symbol, and a "Windows RT" logo.
that its sources near Nokia reveal that the new design uses a Qualcomm, Inc. (
) 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:
Sept. 26 (tentative)
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")
AT&T, Inc. (
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
attacking Microsoft and Windows RT
for allegedly hurting its earnings.
Most OEMs are fleeing from the platform. ASUSTek Computer, Inc. (
cancelled its plans
for a Windows RT tablet. The Lenovo Group, Ltd. (
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 --
. The move was meant to
prod tablet makers to up their game,
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.
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RE: Nokia is probably the only OEM with any use for RT
8/17/2013 12:20:26 PM
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.
RE: Nokia is probably the only OEM with any use for RT
8/17/2013 11:01:04 PM
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.
"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner
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