By Adam Doud | August 20, 2013 7:00 AM
Rumors abound. What will Nokia bring to the table next? This year, we’ve already seen 3 flagship variants for three different carriers, an ultra camera wonder launch on AT&T, and the rumor mill continues to churn out different flavors of different in the near future. Next up on Nokia’s playlist could either be a Windows Phone phablet, or a Windows RT tablet.
We’re going to discuss (and by “discuss” I mean I’ll write a bunch and you’ll read – hopefully) the Windows RT scenario. Nokia has been doing a lot of things right for a long time now. Nokia has positioned itself as arguably the name in Windows Phone. It has continued to build up steam and momentum with iterations of what amounts to almost the same phone over and over, but somehow gets better and better.
It’s not you, it’s Windows.
And yet, Nokia may be looking to enter the same murky waters into which Microsoft is already waist deep. Windows RT is not a successful platform. It frankly doesn’t even have good odds. If mobile technology were a baseball league, Windows RT would be a Chicago team. Put simply, it’s sad.
But the failing of the operating system isn’t necessarily Microsoft’s fault. It’s certainly not Nokia’s fault. To be frank a number of tech-folk, including an old colleague of mine, have said “There isn’t so much a tablet market right now, as there is an iPad market. In short, no tablets are selling in any kinds of numbers that could be considered successful unless they have a picture of fruit on them.
The blame game
This is not Nokia’s fault. It’s not even really Google or Microsoft’s fault. Well, ok, it’s actually Microsoft’s fault. But it’s also a reflection of Apple’s success and market analysis than anything. But it’s not really Nokia’s responsibility to pick up this flickering torch and run with it.
Some OEM’s are making some headway with tablet/laptop hybrids, but that’s not Windows RT. And it’s with x86 processors. Not only is Windows RT not ready for prime time, it’s being pulled off the shelves in some areas. That’s an active movement to not try and sell these tablets.
In a word…yikes.
That being said, if there is a company that could possibly make a Windows RT tablet a success, it’s probably Nokia. It has, almost single handedly made Windows Phone a household name. When it comes to smartphones, Nokia is making slow but steady progress, but delving into another struggling platform doesn’t seem like the greatest of ideas.
I mean, frankly this is not the cave that Nokia wants to go spelunking in. Nokia does not need to throw another bowling ball into the bag. A phablet has proven to be a type of phone that is in demand. A tablet, beyond the iPad and Windows Pro convertibles, has not proven to be a commodity. At all. It’s not even close. It’s not just Windows RT either. Android has had the same trouble gaining traction. So if there is a choice to be made, here’s hoping Nokia bets on phablet, not tablet.
What is being brought to the table(t)?
I know what a lot of you are thinking. “A Nokia tablet would be amazebawlz.” But really, why? When you really stop and think about it, Nokia’s main contribution to Windows Phone has been camera technology. Along that vein, an amazing camera is something that has no business being on a tablet. Hold on there tablet-photographyphiles (pretty sure that’s not a word, but bear with me) - Read one more sentence before you get up in a tizzy. An amazing camera is not needed for either video conferencing nor document scanning. “Good” will do in either case.
So, aside from the camera, which Nokia really doesn’t have much to offer to Windows RT except for two things – brand and developer growth.
Nokia is a great brand. Nokia has been making high-quality mobile devices with solid construction for a very long time. People know Nokia. But people know Microsoft too. The Surface debuted to very positive speculation and the hardware is nothing to shrug at. In this case, Nokia is not going to do anything that Microsoft can/has already done. Nokia would basically make a great device with an operating system that is not quite done cooking yet. Microsoft has already done that, thrown their brand/marketing behind it, and fallen short, at least in our humble opinions.
Nokia could also bring something special to the relationship – developers. Since tossing their hat into the Windows Phone ring, Nokia has led the charge in Windows Phone app development. They have done a remarkable job thus far. Let’s not forget that for the moment, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 are separate platforms. Their apps do not play on the same playground. Nokia doesn’t exactly have a pile of money to throw at this problem when they’re already dealing with the app issue on Windows Phone.
And speaking of splitting efforts, the old Nokia-Android debate has some relevance here. Several of my Pocketnow brethren have stated that Nokia really needs to focus if they’re going to make Windows Phone work – more than it already has. Phablets are a minor detour from their chosen path. Windows RT is an entirely different and much more rocky path. If Nokia wants to continue to be successful, they really need to focus on what they do well and not branch out.
On the other hand, if they do have a pile of money they really need to get rid of, they can go ahead and make the check out to Adam Doud, c/o Pocketnow.
How about you, dear readers? Have the arguments here altered your Nokia tablet position? Is a Nokia tablet the mobile tech of your dreams? Or should Nokia stick with what they know and are good at?
Leader Image source: Pagegadget