Nokia Entering Netbook Market with Intel-based Nokia Booklet 3G

 
 
By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2009-08-24
 
 
 

If PC maker Dell can grow its domain to include smartphones, then it shouldn't be too surprising that phone maker Nokia is ready to dabble in PCs.
 
The world's leading cellphone maker announced on Aug. 24 that it will be entering the challenging PC market with the introduction of the Nokia Booklet 3G, a sort of souped-up netbook.
 
"We are fully aware what has the margin level been in the PC world," Kai Oistamo, the head of Nokia's phone unit, told Reuters. "We have gone into this with our eyes wide open."
 
According to Reuters, the Booklet 3G will feature an Intel Atom processor and run Microsoft Windows - and likely a bare-bones version of Windows 7, after its Oct. 21 release.
 
The Nokia Booklet 3G is expected to weigh just 2.8 pounds and offer a battery life of 12 hours. Engadget, which seems to have acquired images, shows the slick, aluminum-bodied Booklet to offer cover color choices of white, black and sky blue. Seemingly judging by the photos, the site adds to the Booklet's features a 10.1-inch display, integrated 3G wireless and a hot-swappable SIM card, integrated A-GPS for use with Ovi Maps, an HDMI output, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.
 
In the recent economy, netbook sales have been the bright spot in an otherwise struggling PC market, which dropped 8.1 percent in the first quarter of the year, according to data from iSuppli. The researcher additionally expects wirelessly enabled netbook shipments to grow from 2009's expected tally of 17.8 million units to 36.3 million units in 2012.
 
Analyst Jack E. Gold, with Gold Associates, calls Nokia's Booklet 3G a direct evolution from its smartphones and Linux tablets.

"Nokia is not trying to move into the extremely competitive market for PCs in general, even though it describes the Booklet 3G as a mini-laptop. What it is doing is moving to protect its key markets," said Gold in a statement.

"Indeed, netbooks are increasingly being sold as mobile device alternatives (or supplements) to smartphones. Many have 3G radios included, can make voice calls (via VOIP) and are increasingly being sold and subsidized by traditional wireless carriers. Therefore, it is logical to see Nokia make this move."

Gold describes the move as a "direct offshoot" of the June announcement Nokia and Intel made, with executives offering no product details, but saying they wanted to "align and shape the next era of mobile computing."

Gold concludes his statement by remarking, "We expect Nokia to be a force in the wireless device market across all platforms and not just smartphones."
 
Nokia will be offering detailed specifications for the Booklet 3G, as well as pricing and availability information, on Sept. 2, according to Reuters. The date is the opening of Nokia World 09, which will take place in Stuttgart. Among the scheduled speakers is Henri Moissinac, Facebook's "director of mobile." 

Rocket Fuel