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Nokia to launch Windows 8 tablet later this year, says report

A 10-inch Windows 8 tablet from Nokia is slated for the fourth quarter of 2012, according to sources cited by DigiTimes.


Nokia could hit the Windows 8 tablet market later this year with its own 10-inch device.

Citing "sources at upstream component suppliers," DigiTimes says that Nokia will likely debut a dual-core Windows 8 tablet in this year's fourth quarter at the earliest. Microsoft hasn't yet revealed a launch date for Windows 8. But the new OS is expected to appear before year's end, either just before or early in the fourth quarter, according to most predictions.

Nokia will outsource the manufacturing of its Windows 8 tablet to Taiwan-based Compal Electronics with initial orders totaling at least 200,000 units, the sources said.

This isn't the first sign that the Finnish mobile phone maker plans to enter the Windows 8 tablet market. A Nokia executive said last November that the company is looking to add a Windows 8 tablet to its product line this coming June.

Nokia officials refused to confirm or deny the information at the time. The company had nothing to add in response to CNET's request for comment today. But given Nokia's partnership with Microsoft and its slowly growing fleet of Windows Phone Lumia handsets, a Nokia Windows 8 tablet would be a natural evolution.

Other tablet vendors have revealed plans to jump on the Windows 8 bandwagon.

Dell CEO Michael Dell told Bloomberg last week that the company aims to unveil a business-based tablet on the same day that Windows 8 debuts. HP is reportedly working on its own Windows 8 tablets for both Intel and ARM-based devices, sources recently told CNET.

Debate has already arisen as to whether Windows 8 could give Android a run for its money in the tablet market.

Android tablets en masse have captured some of the market share once owned by the iPad. And certain tablets, such as the Amazon Kindle Fire, have seen healthy demand. But no individual tablet has managed to rival the iPad in sales or popularity.

Many believe the flood of Android tablets has created confusion among consumers, leading to the industry's failure to produce any one single "iPad killer." That same vulnerability could open the door for Windows 8 tablets to succeed where Android tablets have failed.

Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps has even advised tablet vendors such as Lenovo, Toshiba, Samsung, and HTC to switch their focus from Android toward Windows 8.

Updated 6:45 a.m. PT with response from Nokia.