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Nokia Tries To Upstage Apple and Microsoft with Launch of Lumia Tablet

Nokia yesterday launched its first tablet, the new 10-inch Lumia 2520, while also adding two new 6-inch smartphones, the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1320. Rumors of a Windows RT-based tablet from Nokia surfaced over the summer but it fell under the radar when Microsoft announced its plan to acquire the company's mobile handset business for $7.2 billion last month.

But apparently that didn't deter Nokia from launching its new tablet. Of course, the deal hasn't closed and Nokia must run its business as it sees fit until the transaction is complete.  

Nevertheless, Nokia's decision to launch a tablet line today is either a foolish act or a brilliant move. That remains to be seen but it takes a lot of guts for the company to attempt to upstage Apple, which it and everyone else knew was launching new iPads today -- the new iPad Air, a thinner and lighter version of its full-sized tablets and a new iPad Mini with Apple's Retina display. The Nokia launch also comes on the day Microsoft is shipping the new Surface Pro 2 and the Surface 2.

Unlike Microsoft's Surface lineup, the Lumia 2520 will ship this quarter with support for 4G LTE connectivity. It also comes with a 6.7 megapixel camera and Zeiss lenses. Besides the Surface, it's one of the only other tablets bundled with Windows RT 8.1. That will likely result in a poor reception for the new Nokia tablet, said independent analyst Jack Gold in a note today.

"Windows RT is not popular and is not selling well, for good reason," Gold noted. "It is a 'dumbed down' version of Windows which does not run all the apps Windows users expect. Most users have not been thrilled with the user experience. I don't expect Nokia to do well with this product for that very reason."

Gold nonetheless described Nokia's new tablet as sporting an impressive design and will appeal to those who want 4G LTE built in.

The future of this new device will likely serve as a test case for Microsoft and it will invariably be integrated as part of Microsoft's Surface portfolio once the deal closes.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 10/23/2013 at 1:07 PM


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