Carrier's top French executive says the company will branch out with a tablet running Microsoft's upcoming version of Windows.
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Nokia will add a Windows 8 tablet to its product line in June 2012, a French newspaper reported in an interview with the head of Nokia in France.
"In June 2012, we will have a tablet running Windows 8," Paul Amsellem told Les Echos in a story published yesterday.
Such a move would make some sense. Android and iOS span phones and tablets, but Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system doesn't. Ignoring the tablet market would shut Nokia out of a major growth industry, though, and Microsoft is the obvious partner--even if it means Nokia must wrestle with the complexities of having two major operating systems.
Reached for comment today, a Nokia representative wouldn't confirm or deny Amsellem's statement, but did say, "We have not announced any plans relating to tablets."
Last month, Nokia Chief Executive Stephen Elop wouldn't comment on Windows 8 tablet plans, but he left the door wide open when discussing earnings results with analysts.
"From an ecosystem perspective, there are benefits and synergies that exist between Windows and Windows Phone," Elop said. "We see that opportunity. We'll certainly consider those opportunities going forward."
In a later interview with the Financial Times, Elop pointed more specifically to the similarities in user interface between Nokia's newly launched Lumia line of Windows Phone products and the upcoming Windows 8 operating system.
Nokia has services it could bring to a Windows tablet, of course. But the synergies aren't always easy: Programs written for one operating system don't run on the other, so spanning the two devices means a lot of work for app developers.
Amsellem likened the new Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone to a BMW, saying that higher-end and lower-end models will arrive soon. Nokia already showed off the lower-end Lumia 710 and, at last month, said higher-end phones would arrive as well. But the company has not shared details so far.