Nokia continues it rebirth with the announcement of its first-ever Android tablet computer, the N1, which will be built for Nokia under license by a third-party device manufacturer.
The new N1 was unveiled by Nokia on Nov. 18 as the company's "first Nokia-branded Android tablet" that features "a carefully crafted industrial design by Nokia with a focus on simplicity," the company said.
The N1, which will feature a new Nokia Z Launcher interface that "learns" a user's choices over time and eventually "predicts" which apps a user is seeking to engage, is expected to go on sale sometime in the first quarter of 2015, according to the company. It will be manufactured, distributed and sold by a partner device maker.
An article by Reuters identified the company that will build and sell the N1 tablets for Nokia as Taiwan's Foxconn. A Nokia spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment from eWEEK.
"We are pleased to bring the Nokia brand back into consumers' hands with the N1 Android tablet, and to help make sophisticated technologies simple," Sebastian Nyström, head of products for Nokia Technologies, said in a statement. "The N1 has a delightfully intuitive interface and an industrial design to match it. This is a great product for Nokia fans and everyone who has not found the right Android tablet yet."
Nyström announced the N1 at the Slush technology conference in Helsinki.
The N1 will first be offered for sale in China in the first quarter of 2015 for an estimated $249, according to Nokia. Sales of the device will expand to other nations following the China launch, though no schedule has yet been announced.
The N1 includes a 7.9-inch 2,048 by 1,536 resolution LED display featuring Corning Gorilla Glass 3, an Intel 64-bit 2.3GHz Z3580 Atom processor, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, 32GB of on-device storage, a PowerVR G6430 graphics chip and a 5,300mAh lithium polymer battery.
The tablet runs on the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system and is 6.9mm thick for a slim profile. The N1 also includes an 8MP rear-facing camera with autofocus, a 5MP front-facing fixed focus camera and 1080p video recording capabilities.
The tablet has a one-piece aluminum body, comes in Natural Aluminum or Lava Gray colors, and features built-in WiFi, Bluetooth and dual stereo speakers.
With the new Nokia Z Launcher, users can scribble one or several letters on the screen with a fingertip and the launcher will quickly react to find the app being sought by the user, according to Nokia. The Z Launcher then progressively learns what applications are being used, and then predicts and highlights the applications for future use, based on the time of day and location when the apps were used in the past, according to Nokia.
The N1 will be the first tablet to use Z Launcher, which helps users get rid of clutter on their device home screen by replacing icons with one place to find their most used apps.
Consumers can sign up with Nokia to be notified about when the new N1 will be available for sale in their countries.
The new tablet is Nokia's first foray back into the mobile market since Nokia's mobile handset business was acquired by Microsoft for $7.1 billion in April. In October, Microsoft rebranded its Nokia smartphones as Microsoft Lumia devices.
Nokia will not be eligible to make or sell smartphones again until sometime in 2016 under the terms of the sale of its former handset division to Microsoft.