Nokia's CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo has confirmed that the company will be manufacturing and selling mobile computers but failed to confirm whether they will be netbooks or traditional laptops (or something in between).
Kallasvuo, who was appearing in a television interview with Finnish TC Channel YLE, said that Nokia could be looking at a device that merge the functionalities of a PC and a mobile handset.
The timing of the news, just one week after the Mobile World Congress, shows that Nokia is reacting to the invasion of traditional PC manufacturers like Acer which have announced eight new smartphones.
Others like Lenovo and HP have also injected fresh new blood in their (almost) defunct PDA range while Dell and a few others could be going in the market sooner than expected.
Back in August 2008, we suggested that Nokia could join LG in launching a rebadged Netbook by exploiting its powerful relationship with mobile networks to push its model.
According to well-connected Unwiredview, Nokia already has a working compact mobile computer based on Linux OS (no Symbian here) and is more like a MID (mobile internet device) rather than a netbook and resembles the N800 Tablet, Nokia's first true touchscreen.
The device apparently runs on the Cortex A9 Sparrow, ARM's multi core processor, and comes with a keyboard with diamond shaped keys which are apparently better for typing. Unwiredview claims that it should be ready by 2011.
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Nokia better not screw this one up. It is extremely important that the Finnish manufacturer has a clear vision about what it wants to do so as not to confuse a nervous market. It will be simpler for Nokia to release a rebadged Netbook this year and propose a 24 months roadmap from there. They could very easily tweak a few things to offer a unique product on the market.