Nokia's chief Stephen Elop dropped a big hint regarding the company’s position on the choice of operating system for an upcoming tablet, saying it will consider any option for a tablet OS.
When pressed about the rumoured Nokia tablet and whether the company would consider producing an Android-based tablet, Stephen Elop told reporters in Sydney, "We would consider any option (Android or Windows). It is important to note that the opportunity for companionship is something that any user is looking for. So, when you think about the Lumia 920, running on Windows Phone, having a Windows tablet or PC or Xbox is something that will give us the opportunity to have a pretty integrated experience. Our first focus on what we look at is clearly in the Microsoft side," the Australian Financial Review reports.
Nokia announced last week that it would be holding a press conference on the opening day of Mobile World Congress later this month in Barcelona. At the event, Nokia is rumoured to be unveiling a Windows RT tablet sporting a battery-equipped keyboard cover. Other specs of the rumoured tablet include HDMI and USB connectivity and a 10.1-inch HD display. The battery cover will also have a kickstand for the tablet and two additional USB ports for mice or other input devices.
The company’s chief also said that while Nokia had not made any announcements about a tablet, it is waiting for Microsoft's success, or lack thereof, with the Surface, to inform how and when it could enter the market. "We are studying very closely the market right now as Microsoft has introduced the Surface tablet, so we are trying to learn from that and understand what the right way to participate would be and at what point in time," he was quoted as saying by AFR.
Elop also said that 7-inch and larger display tablets have an equal place in the market. If and when Nokia does launch a tablet (or maybe two considering that earlier statement), it could add some strength to Nokia's portfolio of Windows products. Its Windows Phone 8 Lumia devices already have Office baked in and a Windows tablet with similar functionality will increase its market share as well as offer a product competitive with iPad or Android tablets. Neither iOS nor Android have a full-fledged Microsoft Office app, although alternatives do exist in the respective app storefronts.
Microsoft last week launched its latest version of Office for the desktop and Office 365, with the notable omission of any iOS support, which is anticipated to arrive early this year.
Besides the tablet, rumours hint that the company may show up at MWC with another PureView Windows Phone 8 device (with allegedly a better sensor than the 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView) alongside the follow up to last year’s flagship the Lumia 920.