Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Nokia announces netbook offering

The world's largest manufacturer of mobile phones will join the PC market with its Booklet 3G netbook.

The Windows-based device is about 2cm thick and will offer 3G connectivity as well as wi-fi.

Analysts said the laptop was a "natural extension" of the company's product range but the firm would face stiff competition.

Nokia will release price and availability information at an event in Stuttgart on 2 September.

The Booklet has an aluminium case, weighs 1.25 kilograms (2.75 lbs) and its 10-inch screen is HD-ready.

Nokia has released a number of small, "tablet"-style internet-enabled devices in the past to mixed reviews, but this is the first effort which is claimed to be a full-function PC.

"A growing number of people want the computing power of a PC with the full benefits of mobility," said Kai Oistamo, Nokia's executive vice president for devices.

"We are in the business of connecting people and the Nokia Booklet 3G is a natural evolution for us."

Crowded market

The Booklet also has integrated Bluetooth, GPS, a webcam and an SD card reader. Nokia claims it has a 12-hour battery life.

But if the Booklet has an edge in the crowded netbook market, it may lie in the device's heritage.

"Nokia now faces new and different competitors for the Booklet that are strong in the laptop PC space such as Dell, HP and Sony that are weak or non-existent players in mobile phones," wrote Forrester analyst Ian Fogg on his blog.

Mr Fogg said the Booklet's unique selling point was an "internal mobile broadband card with a SIM slot."

"Other netbooks rely on external USB mobile broadband modems for Internet access," he wrote on his blog.

"The presence of this internal wireless modem is why the Booklet 3G is a natural extension to Nokia's traditional phone handset product range."

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