Nokia to make netbooks!

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March 5th, 2009 Priyanka Joshi


Nokia has dropped broad hints of its intentions to enter the netbook market. Nokia’s big boss, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo in an interview with a Finnish TV admitted “we are looking very actively at this opportunity.”

What began as rumours last year has fuelled itself into a full-blown opportunity for Nokia.  The company executives do not want to miss out on a product category that is thriving and which could be a good platform for boosting uptake of its web services (that are to be launched in May-June this year). This backs up Kallasvuo’s statements made at Barcelona last month that Nokia would expand the definition of the smartphone “into categories and form factors that have not yet been explored”. But the use of an ARM-based chip will hugely disappoint Intel.

Intel’s Atom processors gave birth to the idea of netbooks by leveraging its powerful position in the PC industry. Today, the chip giant has ensured that its mobile processors remain dominant in netbooks category, even as it got tougher to break into the conventional smartphone world. Intel is investing through recession – which executives insisted would be the pattern for 2009 too– in order to emerge from the downturn with the most advanced products in key growth areas. With operators relying on mobile data for their own survival plans, netbooks with embedded 3G, Wi-Fi and/or WiMAX should certainly represent one of those growth areas, and Atom is already driving volumes at Intel, even if it is squeezing margins.

Nokia, the Finnish giant, is reportedly working on a cut-down, mobile web-optimized PC, based on the recently announced ARM multicore Sparrow processor and incorporating elements of the existing N800 internet tablet, including its Maemo-based Linux software platform.

We won’t see a Nokia netbook until early 2011, and most probably missing the first boat for netbooks. But trust Nokia to try to outdo the traditional PC makers in terms of form factor and mobility, playing to its strengths and building on the N800 experience to create a new approach, as well as capitalizing on its vast scale and logistical excellence.

According to various leaked features (found easily on the internet) of the supposed prototype, nicknamed Nokia Sparrow, include a multi-slide keyboard with different layouts, automatically revealed as the device is moved in different directions; and a multidirectional display, similar to the tilting display of the N97 smartphone.

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13 Responses to “Nokia to make netbooks!”

  1. ShankarS Says:

    I think netbooks maybe a too hyped product category for India. Asus did scratch our curiousity but Nokia hoping to get some profits from this is sounding too ambitious

  2. An Admirer Says:


    Well the article you wrote did not catch my eye. But ur pic did, i think u are pretty cute. :-)

  3. Venkatesh Hariharan Says:

    Thoughts on Nokia to make the screen sizes of its phones bigger or mobile companies making their instruments do more than calls, mails, texting has been going on for sometime now. There is an interesting piece around this posted by Prithwis Mukerjee

    Without getting into the ‘business case’ aspect - question to ask; what is driving Nokia today to get into the Laptop business? Intel’s Atom processor’s or a motive to build a laptop as cool as its phones? When google and Tmobil tied up for a mobile phone, there was an expectation of a competitor for IPhone. Did it happen? I still find IPhone much more ‘cool’ and designed for users than its wannabe successors.

    So here is my thinking. If 2 or more distinct Tech. companies come together to create a joint offering in an existing segment - they first need to address the ‘What else’ part, ‘What else’ besides what’s already existing, and ‘what else’ to make life more simpler?

  4. Timus Rawlat Says:


    Thanks for the info. I think I like the concept for the points you raised. What exactly I do when I am at home:
    - watch youtube videos
    - Social networking
    - Email checking / replying etc.
    - download movies
    - Occasional research
    - Documentation (with Google offering freeware hosted office, thats not a problem at all)

    One problem: Wifi everywhere which I dont have in India, not still when I am in an IT company. But looks good if 3G becomes cheaper by next year.
    Very interesting. . .

    An interesting thing I noticed is the connect: an instrument + a network connection + web-service provider hmm
    so its Nokia + whoever + Google.

    So does it make sense for Nokia to do a Apple Deja vu with Nokia?

    I am actually excited with the idea. . . though mentally cant have Nokia associated with computing. Its always intel or the likes.

    Can someone tell me ( on what is a good buy (and price) in India.
    Also, Priyanka which model is on top of the page.. . looked like a G1 to me.

  5. Sagar Says:

    Nokia should go back to making gumboots

  6. fardeel Says:

    Can you recomend a netbook. I am looking at a budget of upto 20k. i need office documents to be seen reviewed on it. so i need windows too or do you suggest any

  7. shirish Says:

    i agree with the sentiment that netbooks are the way to go. Just imagine how do we spend 95% of our time at our computers? Browsing the web (or looking at silly videos). So these days, when saving every dollar counts, why do we still need to own Rs 40,000 laptop when most of the processing power and features are never used?
    You can pop a netbook in your handbag or backpack with ease and be able to check e-mail, read a blog or shop online while you are on the go. Most of the innovation in creating this new wave of tiny netbooks has come with the incorporation of solid state or flash memory. This is similar to the type of technology used to save pictures on your digital camera or pocket flash drive. The netbook can be incredibly fast at a fraction of the size because it does not contain a traditional hard or optical disc drive which runs, and often tends to fail, in your desktop and laptop.

  8. K shridhar Says:

    I disagree with shubhankar. Intel and Microsoft are actively promoting the category. It is not supposed to be your primary laptop it’s a category for young profesionals and ppl who use it just for browsing and light multimedia work.

    It’s a promising category and am sure Nokia has done it’s wrk bfore launching in the segment. It’s more smart than you would credit it with

  9. Subhankar Says:

    The whole concept of a netbook is flawed. It is too small to be a PC and too big for a smart phone-like device. All it will do is cannibalise sales of laptops. Microsoft and Intel will never allow that to happen. Nokia’s netbook in 2011? The product category will be resting in peace by then.

  10. frankie Says:

    NVIDIA has announced plans to pair Intel’s Atom processor with a real mobile GPU, the 9400M. It’s no secret that Intel’s integrated graphics processors stink across the board, and they’re the biggest weakness in the company’s ultramobile platform. But by pairing the Atom processor with a 9400M, NVIDIA will be able to offer users a mobile x86 platform that supports 1080p video decoding, dual-link DVI out, DirectX 10 graphics, CUDA, and OpenCL. It’s remarkable that such a small board can support a full Windows Vista install, 1080p playback, and 3D gaming. Indeed, this platform will make a killer foundation for a small, power-efficient HTPC

  11. mohta.A Says:

    I bought a Dell netbook last year but i am too dissapointed with its performance. the keypad is crimped and I have to squint everytime I am writing a mail …why will anyone buy a laptop like this even ? It does not even have a hard drive for data carriage

  12. Anon Says:

    Wasnt Microsoft too planning a slimmed-down version of the forthcoming Windows 7 operating system to work on so-called netbooks. Not to mention Asus that’s bringing a mini-laptop that runs on Google’s Android OS. And Now even Nokia is looking to get into the netbook game. It will be an interesting market for consumers in the end

  13. prekshit Says:

    wow. this should be a much awaited event then. any idea when this will be out and pricing would be like Eee pc?


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