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Nokia: Yep, we're working on a tablet

The company's design chief told Finnish magazine Kauppalehti Optio that Nokia is currently "working" on slate, but wouldn't say if it will run on Windows 8.

Windows 8 is expected to launch sometime later this year.
Windows 8 is expected to launch sometime later this year.

Nokia is, indeed, working on a tablet, the company's design chief reportedly revealed today.

Speaking to Finnish magazine Kauppalehti Optio, Nokia's Marko Ahtisaari said that he's currently spending one-third of his time working on a tablet. Ahtisaari didn't say, however, if the device will be running Windows 8, as expected, or when it might launch worldwide.

Ahtisaari's comments lend some credence to a report from Digitimes earlier this week, claiming Nokia was working on a dual-core Windows 8 tablet that would launch later this year. The blog's sources claimed Nokia is planning to produce 200,000 units of the device.

Talk of Nokia working on a touch-screen tablet has surfaced from time to time since 2010. After the company inked a partnership with Microsoft last year that made Windows Phone 7 the "principal" operating system on its line of handsets, rumors cropped up, suggesting the firm was also working on a Windows 8 tablet. Those rumors were bolstered in November by a statement from Nokia France chief Paul Amsellem, who told Les Echos that the company planned to have a "tablet running Windows 8" ready in June.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop was a little less forthcoming in an earlier interview, saying that his company could see an "opportunity" in developing a Windows 8-based device.

"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."

If and when Nokia launches its Windows 8 tablet, the company will be flanked by a host of competitors, including major PC vendors Dell and HP. Dell CEO Michael Dell told Bloomberg last week that his company will unveil a Windows 8-based tablet the same day the operating system launches. HP is reportedly working on Windows 8 tablets that will feature both Intel and ARM CPUs.