Feeds

Why did Nokia bosses wait so long to pop THAT Lumia tab?

Timing is everything, mobile overlord tells El Reg

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Analysis Nokia waited a long, long time before finally launching a tablet last week. The Lumia 2520 unveiled in Abu Dhabi last week is aggressively priced and surprisingly functional. But why the wait?

Rumours of a Nokia tablet have been circulating for two years, since CEO Stephen Elop said that Nokia saw an opportunity in the market. Design chief Marko Ahtisaari confirmed the project 18 months ago while the summer of last year was pegged as a lunch date.

It came and went without any new kit.

A year ago Asian reporters were convinced Nokia would launch in time for Christmas 2012.

Nokia's head of smart devices, Jo Harlow, told The Register last week that Nokia wanted to differentiate itself from rivals, and the obvious differentiator was cellular data. However, the hardware wasn’t ready yet.

“We wanted a truly mobile tablet. We waited because of the compromises we’d have had to make,” she said. “The support for the chipsets and integrated modems wasn’t there.”

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 chips, announced in January, are not only faster but have integrated 4G LTE radio built in. Every 2520 will have a SIM card slot.

The wisdom of waiting was born out by the fate of the first generation Windows RT hardware. Asus and Dell were badly burned - as was Microsoft, which wrote off $900m on its Surface RT hardware, along with HTC, Toshiba and Lenovo. The software was immature and the hardware underpowered - giving you the worst all all worlds. So why bother?

Now RT has matured enough to allow you to get some work done – provided much of your work is based around Microsoft Office – and the hardware no longer holds you back. Nokia’s robust design also shows signs of common sense. Microsoft made the Surface a showpiece for all kinds of whizzy technology innovation, and the Surface Touch Cover 2 boasts an array of 1,092 sensors. Nokia simply designed a very good keyboard.

So last week saw two products, the Lumia tablet and Surface RT that will shortly be managed by the same company. Differentiating isn’t hard, though, and the appeal of Nokia’s tablet, with its chuck-it-in-a-bag practicality, is pretty clear. Managing the Lumia tablet and Surface isn’t Microsoft’s biggest headache – it’s explaining why you should be interested in RT at all.

Harlow told us that Nokia also wished to differentiate itself with its bundled software. She cited the really quite impressive StoryTeller movie maker app. But this highlighted the schizophrenic nature of the RT caper itself. Is it a consumer product that can do a bit of Outlook? Or is it a mobile Office product that can do a bit of multimedia?

When Microsoft finally completes the acquisition of Nokia’s 32,000-strong mobile unit it will boast 120,000 staff in all. Surely there’s one in there who can find a way of explaining RT to the so-far uninterested masses. Thanks largely to Nokia, RT is looking less of a basket case and something with a bit of potential. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
The British Museum plonks digital bricks on world of Minecraft
Institution confirms it's cool with joining the blocky universe
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.