With employees bounding from place to place, small handheld devices have become all the rage. Nokia, the world's leading cell phone supplier, understands that its foes are no longer limited to Apple and Samsung. Consequently, the Finnish supplier has moved into the burgeoning netbook market, one where it faces significant competition.Nokia announced
the Nokia Booklet 3G, which relies on the Intel Atom processor and supports up to 12 hours of battery life. The device weighs 1.25 kilograms and measures slightly more than two centimeters. The product offers users a few connectivity options, including 3G/HSPA cellular networks, Wi-Fi connections, and Bluetooth links. The company is trying to tie its new initiative to its highly successful cell phone lines. The new device includes a GPS system that works with Nokia's Ovi Maps gadget. In addition, the netbook can access and play back music tracks through the Nokia Music Store. Also a customer can use Ovi Suite to sync information stored on its Nokia smartphones to the netbook.
Nokia is entering a crowded marketplace. Market research firms have projected high growth rates in the netbook space in the next few years. Laptop vendors, such as Acer, Dell, and HP view netbooks as the logical extensions to their lines. In addition, other cell phone suppliers, such as Samsung, have moved into the netbook market. With that many vendors scrambling for market share, it is not yet clear which will be successful. So small and medium businesses may end up with devices from vendors who eventually will be forced to exit the netbook arena.
In addition, the lines between the cell phone and netbook marketplaces are being blurred. As netbooks get smaller and smartphones gain more capabilities, the devices look more and more alike. Employees may start to carry both, which will increase a company's support requirements. To avoid such problems, companies may want to standardize on either one vendor's netbook or smartphone and make that edict clear to its employees.
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