Nokia turns to a Tablet
By Matt Whipp
Posted on 25 May 2005 at 17:36
Mobile phone giant Nokia has unveiled a new product, and it's not a mobile phone.
The Nokia 770 Internet Tablet is the first of a kind for Nokia. It is essentially one part mobile computing device (complete with touch-sensitive, high-resolution 800x480 screen) and one part mobile phone accessory. It can connect to a handset and use the connection to surf the web - breaking free of the physical constraints of a mobile phone.
It boasts Bluetooth for connecting to phones and WiFi for connecting to wireless networks. The screen size means it can display web pages without having to reformat them. It also offers zoom controls and an on-screen keyboard making data entry easy.
Software-wise, Nokia has developed a Linux-based operating system and announced a development community to push progress under the name maemo.
The Nokia Internet Tablet 2005 software platform ships with applications that include Internet Radio, RSS News reader, Image viewer and Media players. VoIP and instant messaging is due to be included in later incarnations.
'We are very excited to introduce our first Nokia Internet Tablet device to the market,' says Janne Jormalainen, Nokia's VP of Convergence Products. 'With the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet consumers can access broadband Internet services away from their desktop, for example in the backyard or at a café within a Wi-Fi hotspot.'
Nokia has pushed the design envelope before with the likes of the N-Gage games console, as well as devices with screens large enough to make surfing the Internet and running applications usable, with the Communicator series. However, this is the first phone-less device from the Finnish market leader.
It's venture to add VoIP support marks an interesting move as well. This conflicts directly with the voice revenues upon which the telcos depend. Motorola, too, has announced that it will develop phones that support Skype's Internet telephony application. Whether this drives the network operators to push data services more aggressively and relinquish reliance on voice remains to be seen. It may also serve to shift the balance of power in the opposite direction: away from the operators and back to the manufacturers.
The Nokia 770 Internet Tablet will cost around £200 and be available later this year.
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