Nokia: Tablet Comments Misconstrued, Company Still 'Watching the Space'
Outgoing Nokia Chairman Jorma Ollila commented that Nokia is "looking into" tablets and hybrid devices, which started media keyboards clattering. A Nokia spokesperson clarified, however, that Nokia is still just watching the space "with interest."
Nokia has a variety of products in the works, including tablets and tablet-smartphone hybrids, outgoing Chairman Jorma Ollila suggested to the Financial Times ahead of a May 3 shareholders meeting that will be Ollilas last. After the meetingand 27 years with NokiaOllila will hand over the role to Finnish entrepreneur Risto Siilasmaa.
Ollila didnt offer a timetable for the devices, though its been speculated that a tablet could arrive with Microsofts Windows 8 sometime later this year.
Tablets are an important one, so that is being looked into, and there will be different hybrids, different form factors in the future, Ollila said, according to Reuters.
A Nokia spokesperson, however, worked to dial back the comment.
What Mr. Ollila said has been misconstrued a bit ¦ spokesperson Keith Nowak told eWEEK. As we have been saying, we are watching the space with interest, but have made no announcements regarding a tablet product.
It was during Olillas tenure as CEO, from 1992 through 2006, that Nokia enjoyed the distinctionin 1999of being the largest company in Europe by market value. Still, the Reuters report notes, Olilla faced tremendous criticism for not being a frontrunner when it came to smartphones, and a poll in Finland last week found 40 percent of analysts rate Olillas 13-year term as chairman as poor or unacceptable.
Nokia began shipping a global line of Lumia smartphones this year. Introduced in late 2011, lower-end Lumia models went on sale early in the year, but the higher-end Lumia 900 didnt go on sale, on the AT&T network in the United States, until April 8. Like BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, Nokia faces do-or-die pressure not only to bring to market compelling devices, but to do so as quickly as possible.
In early April, Nokia warned investors of disappointing fiscal first-quarter results, and on April 19 it announced a net sales decrease of 29 percent year-over-year and a net loss of approximately $2 billion U.S. dollars.
During the earnings call, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop repeated for the umpteenth time that Nokia is working to pick up its pace. Laying out the final point in a five-point plan, Elop explained: We are establishing a clear sense of urgency and increase in the clock speed of our company. Last weeks news highlights that there is still a lot improvements ahead so that we can lead and not react to the competitive dynamics in the market. In totality, the intent of the strategy is to reaffirm Nokias position of strength in the mobile industry. ¦
During the first quarter of 2011, Samsung put an end to Nokias 14-year reign as the global leader in mobile phone shipments, shipping 92 million phones during the quarter to Nokias 83 million units, according to IHS iSuppli.
Separating out smartphones, Samsung shipped 32 million to Apples 35 million and Nokias 12 million, said IHS.
Of those, Nokia has said, more than 2 million were Lumia phones. While the figure pales beside the 35.1 million iPhones that Apple sold during the first three months of the year, IDC Francisco Jeronimo reminded the market of the need to give Nokia a little slack, if not kudos. It took five quarters for Android to reach the 2 million shipments a quarter mark, Jeronimo told Reuters.