Nokia Windows RT Tablet Rumors Intensify - InformationWeek

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Nokia Windows RT Tablet Rumors Intensify

Even if Nokia does jump in soon with a device, Microsoft will struggle to carry the RT banner.

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Tablet Buying Demystified: 10 Tips
The rumor mill has held for months that Nokia, the primary supplier of Windows Phone 8 hardware, will soon launch a Windows RT tablet. The gossip heated up Wednesday after an online report not only published the tablet's alleged specs, but also claimed the device could be announced as soon as September.

There's plenty of reason to be skeptical that a Nokia tablet is actually coming, not the least of which is the poor performance of Windows RT. According to IDC, the OS accounted for a meager 0.5% of tablet shipments in the most recent quarter.

Still, whether Nokia launches a tablet or not, the rumors reinforce one of Microsoft's lingering concerns: Aside from itself, almost no one believes in Windows RT.

The spec list and release date rumors originated on, which cited a "tipster." According to the site, the device will be powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 processor and will feature a 10.1-inch 1080p screen, 32 GB of storage, USB ports and cellular support from AT&T. The report also claimed that the device can be connected to a detachable keyboard, a la Microsoft's Surface models.

[ Does 3-D make a difference to you? Read Microsoft Touts Windows 8.1 3-D Printing. ]

The specs sound promising, especially the cellular support. Many Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets are limited to Wi-Fi, which restricts their utility as mobile devices.

Still, without pricing information, it's difficult to handicap the tablet's chances. Microsoft believes Windows RT 8.1 can rehabilitate the platform's image via UI refinements, improved native apps, access to Outlook and other enhancements. Maybe so. But Windows RT has neither the iPad's brand loyalty nor Android's cost competitiveness. Even after being discounted, the current Surface RT is still questionably priced at $349 for the base model. If Nokia doesn't price its product substantially below that mark, it's hard to see the device succeeding.

Virtually all major OEMs have abandoned Windows RT. Asustek CEO Jerry Shen, whose company was the latest RT defector, recently remarked that the tech industry unanimously perceives the platform as a failure. Microsoft has already lost hundreds of millions on its Surface RT tablet. A recent lawsuit even claims that Microsoft misled investors by not admitting earlier that the Surface RT was an "unmitigated disaster."

The conditions certainly don't give Nokia much incentive to enter such a competitive market. Still, Nokia is also the only true Windows Phone 8 player, especially if there is any truth to reports that HTC is planning to focus exclusively on Android. Perhaps Nokia plans to capitalize on the market for all of Microsoft's ARM-based devices.

If Nokia launches an RT tablet, it will likely join two new Surface RT devices that Microsoft is reportedly developing itself. With new iPads coming and the Nexus 7 already setting a formidable cost-to-quality standard, the devices would face a challenging market.

Nevertheless, Microsoft has reason to actively recruit new partners; with Windows RT 8.1 coming in October, new models will be essential to the OS's prospects. If Nokia believes the update will convert old critics and win new fans, perhaps the Windows RT platform can't be counted out just yet.

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User Rank: Apprentice
8/15/2013 | 8:34:52 PM
re: Nokia Windows RT Tablet Rumors Intensify
OK, so Nokia is entering the RT tablet market after everyone else has bailed? And they're entering it with the same form factor that has failed for everyone else, and which the market has in general moved away from to smaller devices?

Good lord man, Nokia management is even more incompetent than Microsoft management! Elop must be Ballmer's MiniMe.
User Rank: Apprentice
8/17/2013 | 5:06:44 AM
re: Nokia Windows RT Tablet Rumors Intensify
I honestly believed that Microsoft would price the original Surface RT at $200, and I was mystified that they didn't. If Nokia drops an RT tablet and doesn't price it in the $200-250 mark, they're screwed - of course, with an RT tablet, they might just be screwed anyway.
User Rank: Apprentice
8/18/2013 | 2:19:24 AM
re: Nokia Windows RT Tablet Rumors Intensify
Before you want to buy Microsoft Surface RT , We recommend that you first know about Microsoft Surface RT Complete Review,Explaining about the specs,performance, the interface is comfortable to use and application, as well as speed in trying some applications.
Just watch the video of his impressions in >>
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