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5 Reasons Why The Nokia Booklet 3G Will Fail

Back in February 2009, when the first rumours emerged that Nokia would be selling laptops, we were understandably chuffed and wrote an article about how great and positive this step was for the world's biggest mobile phone manufacturer.

In that article, we pointed to Nokia's bargaining power, experience, brand name, Symbian and "Comes with music" venture for reasons why the Finnish manufacturer could become very successful indeed. But it looks as if we were wrong when we learnt more about the Nokia Booklet 3G and here's five reasons why.

Product : We were secretly skeptical about the Booklet 3G when it was officially announced. Was it a mini laptop? A netbook or an ultrathin product, it seems that Nokia itself was not really sure where to fit it although it is all but a netbook in name, albeit one with some bells and whistles.

Pricing : At £650 in the UK, the Booklet 3G is almost four times as expensive as the current cheapest netbook on the market, the Hannspree Hannsnote which sells for a stonking £176 (opens in new tab) and manages to best the Booklet 3G on a number of features like hard disk space.

By making its first product so expensive, Nokia sends a wrong signal to the mobile industry, to which the Booklet 3G will be sold, saying that it won't cater for the mass market as it did with products such as the Nokia 1101 or the Nokia 5800 Xpressmusic.

Placement : launching something so similar in form factor to hundreds of other netbooks (and notebooks) on the market is bound to make selling the Booklet 3G even more difficult especially since Nokia naively chose to go down the same way as the rest of the netbook industry by adopting the same platform.

Platform : So by adopting the same Atom+Windows tandem as the rest of the industry, Nokia made it easier for prospective consumers to compare it to the other models on the market.

One has to wonder why it didn't simply release a smartbook, a combination of ARM+Symbian, something that Nokia is significantly more at ease at designing - the N900 being one potential inspiration.

Timing : Finally, Nokia's timing is awful. Coming to the Netbook party so late, with so little to offer, at a truly over-the-top price. Google's forthcoming ChromeOS-based Smartbook is likely to be more competitive and costs significantly less.

As a concluding thought, Nokia has done almost everything it could to make sure that the Booklet 3G doesn't succeed. Nokia is not Apple and even Cupertino-based manufacturer did not so outrageously priced devices like the iPhone or the iPod Touch when they first launched.

And we're not even alone here with analysts such as Canalys supporting the idea that Nokia's Wintel venture is doomed.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.