Nokia is planning to enter the “phablet” market in September, with the introduction of several new devices, Reuters is the latest to report.
Nokia plans to unveil “new, large-screen mobile handsets next month to revamp its Lumia smartphone lineup and challenge rival Samsung’s dominance in increasingly popular phablet devices,” said the Aug. 21 report, citing sources.
The Verge reported Aug. 19 that, again according to sources, Nokia is testing a device with a 6-inch, 1080p display, a quad-core Snapdragon processor and a polycarbonate body.
Code-named “Bandit,” the phablet is said to have an at-least 20-megapixel rear camera and a slight bump—more Lumia 925 than Lumia 1020—on its back to accommodate the camera lens.
“Microsoft is currently improving Windows Phone to support devices like the Bandit, with extra changes for a 1080p display and an additional column of Live Tiles on the Start screen,” wrote the Verge. “The lastest Windows Phone update, GDR3, also includes rotation lock, a Driving Mode option and some minor [user interface] changes.”
Search “Nokia” and “tablet” on eWEEK, and you’ll find the long story of Nokia and tablets that never were.
In January 2010, a photo of a Nokia-made, MeeGo-running tablet raised interest but amounted to nothing.
In May 2011, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop told the host of a Finnish television program: “There are now over 200 different tablets on the marketplace, and only one of them is doing really well. My challenge to the team is that I don’t want to be the 201st tablet on the market that you can’t tell from all of the others. … We are in a hurry, but it’s a hurry to do the right thing.”
In November 2011, a division manager in France let slip that Nokia was indeed working on a Windows 8 tablet and it would arrive in June 2012. (There’s no word on how long that guy kept his job.)
The Nokia Windows 8 tablet continued to be discussed by unnamed sources, while Nokia executives said they were “looking into” tablets and hybrid devices. But the year closed with nothing but smartphones in the Nokia portfolio.
Finally, early this year, Elop committed a bit more, telling Australia’s Financial Review, “We haven’t announced tablets at this point, but it is something we are clearly looking at very closely.”
During Nokia’s July 18 earnings call, there was not a single mention of tablets. And so we wait.
SamMobile has reported that Samsung will introduce and begin shipping a 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 Sept. 4, and it’s rumored that Apple will introduce two new iPhones Sept. 10.
A good guess for a Nokia phablet unveiling might be sometime between those two dates, when the IFA Consumer Electronics Unlimited event in Berlin, Sept. 5 through 7, will also be taking place, or else several weeks later, when there’s a chance for a company that’s not Apple to make headlines.