The Nokia Netbook


Nokia is well-known for its extensive array of mobile phones. I, for one, am big fan of the Finnish mobile giant, having used a lot of their phones in the past, and curently mobilizing it with a shiny N79 (brilliant phone, by the way).

But it seems like the economic meltdown is affecting even the most robust giants of the tech industry. Nokia's market share over the past few quarters reflects that the company isn't doing all that great (we won't get into numbers and that now). And today, when a big tech company isn't rolling in the Benjamins, the logical thing to do is to create a netbook, right? At least, that's what most of them are doing - Samsung, Sony, Toshiba spring to mind.

But Nokia is a little different. They're known for innovative style and solid, good phones. Thus, the logical thing for them to have done would be to launch some "killer" device that appeals to a large, tech-savvy demographic willing to pay for it, for example, the teenage to young adult range. This device would include features that, perhaps, Nokia's competitors hadn't even dreamt of. It would be a sure seller, right?

However, Nokia hasn't done that. Instead, Nokia decided to create "a brand new breed of portable device". According to Nokia's Executive Vice President for Devices, Kai Oistamo, “A growing number of people want the computing power of a PC with the full benefits of mobility."

Thus, Nokia, the company the world knows as the largest mobile phone manufacturer, is launching something far different from what they're popularly known for. They're launching a netbook computer, a low-cost, powerful laptop capable of being carted around with you, and keeping you connected to the sites and networks you currently know and love.

This is a big gamble, in my opinion, for the Finn giant. If this is their answer to their depleating marketshare, then there's a lot that could go wrong. For one, the company doesn't have much experience in this market. Sure, they've launched Internet "tablet" phones in the past, which ran on varients of the Linux system. But the Nokia Booklet 3G, their first netbook computer, is a fully-fledged computing experience. It inculdes the robust netbook processor, the Intel Atom, and runs on Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 7. It's a totally new market that Nokia is trying to push into, and it's a market that is quite full at the moment.

Netbooks began to rise in popularity a few years ago, when Asus launched the EeePC, a cost-efficient, über-portable notebook that looked (and was) extremely attractive to many on-the-go business users and students. The EeePC instigated the revolution in mobile computing, and from then on, the large computer manufacturers Dell, Toshiba, Sony and Samsung, began marketing competitors to it. The market became flooded with netbooks in ranging sizes, from 8" screens to 10.1".

And now Nokia is arriving on the platform, with their reply to the market. Now, as I've said above, I think that Nokia needs to take this step very carefully. Of course, they would've researched the market thoroughly, and this move is calculated. But it could prove costly if it doesn't work out.

So, what exactly is this Booklet 3G? Well, in true Nokia fashion, it features everything - and then some, in a stylish aluminium package. What's notable about the Booklet 3G is its hot-swappable SIM card feature. With this, users can insert their SIM card and use the device as a mobile phone of sorts, or even better, the SIM card of their data modem can be inserted, giving them wireless freedom to connect from wherever there's coverage.

The Booklet 3G is set to come in a variety of colours, making it an appealing device to students and the younger generation. Furthermore, it will run Windows 7. This move by Nokia means that Windows 7 is going to really shake things up in the mobile space when it comes out next month. The fact that Nokia opted for Windows over the myriad flavours of Linux, of which the Ubuntu "Netbook Remix" would've been a cheaper move, means that the Finnish giant is taking this project seriously.

As usual, we will have to wait until the device is out and in the public eye to make accurate assumptions, but from what I've seen, this is going to be great.

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