Nokia Netbook Will Use Google Android, Reports Say
Nokia is planning to launch an ARM-based netbook that runs the
Google Android operating system, Gigaom is reporting, based on a
research note from Lazard Capital Markets analyst Daniel Amir.
Following models such as those from Verizon and AT&T, which subsidize netbooks much like they do smartphones, Amir reportedly expects Nokia to distribute the netbooks through a carrier partner, as it does with most of its smartphones.
(The unlocked Nokia N97 is an exception, being sold for $700 without a contract or carrier obligation.)
In the research note, Amir reportedly told investors: "In our conversations with ODMs, we have confirmed that Nokia is planning to enter the netbook market with a Google Android, ARM-based netbook that would be sold at carriers."
Amir continued, "Considering this market is dominated by the PC players, we believe Nokia could face an uphill battle to succeed in this market."
Nokia and Intel recently announced a strategic relationship, though each side declined to comment on exactly what types of devices they would be working on together, saying only that they were "joining forces... to align and shape the next era of mobile computing."
Roger Kay, analyst and president of Endpoint Technologies, told eWEEK that without directly saying so, the announcement seemed to be about mobile Internet devices (MIDs), which Kay described as "a category that is still struggling to find its sea legs."
Kay went on to say that, regarding the relationship between the world's largest chip maker and the world's largest mobile phone maker, "Intel, of course, gains access to cellular technology in wide use today for mobile broadband. [And] Nokia gets access to some of Intel's intellectual property and a deeper development relationship with a well-capitalized partner."
The netbook market recently showed its first signs of slowing, but it's nonetheless expected to ship 21 million units in 2009 and 30 million units in 2010. Whether Nokia and Intel have a netbook or a MID in the works remains to be seen.
Laurie Armstrong, Nokia's director of communications, told eWEEK that, "While [Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, Nokia's president and CEO] did acknowledge in an interview earlier this year that it is an interesting area that we may explore, we've not said anything about specific plans or ambitions in the space, nor have we announced any specific product plans."