Nokia filed a tablet design patent last year, but will it ever be built?

A US patent filing has emerged showing a Nokia-designed tablet. The filing was submitted in May 2010, but it's unclear whether the device is being worked on now, or has been canned.

US patent filing may shed light on Nokia's plans to build a new tablet. The company was ahead of the curve with its N800 and N8100 Internet Tablets back in the day, and may be seeking to get back in the game.

The patent filing includes diagrams of a tablet device that appears to be to the Nokia N8 what Apple's iPad is to the iPhone . The images show a variety of ports along the top edge of the device, but, being a design patent, there are no details on tech specs, including which operating system it would run.

Is this a glimpse at something Nokia will unveil officially later this year? Sadly, possibly not. The patent was filed in May 2010, according to Boy Genius Report, at a time when the company was still banging the drum with Intel for their jointly developed  MeeGo operating system, which was expected to power a range of tablets, as well as smart phones.

With Stephen Elop now in charge of Nokia, and the company's previous smart-phone strategy torn up in favour of a deal with Microsoft to make Windows 7 Phone  devices, it's anyone's guess whether the patent filing relates to a product that's still in development.

Nokia's former partner, Intel, remains committed to MeeGo tablets. It showed off a prototype  with an impressively slick user interface at Mobile World Congress, and promised to find more manufacturers to take the place of Nokia.

Here's a video demo of the MeeGo OS running on Intel's prototype tablet. If Nokia's patent filing does hint at a device coming later this year, this video may show how you'll use it:

 

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