Smartphone maker Nokia on Monday revealed that it will soon deliver its first netbook, the Nokia Booklet 3G. This Windows 7-based netbook appears to offer standard netbook parts, but will provide up to 12 hours of battery life and integration with Nokia’s other devices and services.
"We are in the business of connecting people, and the Nokia Booklet 3G is a natural evolution for us," said Nokia Executive Vice President Kai Oistamo. "Nokia has a long and rich heritage in mobility, and with outstanding battery life, premium design, and all-day, always-on connectivity, we will create something quite compelling. In doing so we will make the personal computer more social, more helpful, and more personal."
The Booklet 3G certainly seems to address these needs, though more details are coming in early September, including pricing and availability. For now, we know that the Booklet 3G features netbook-standard parts like an Atom processor, a 10.1-inch screen, an SD card reader, and optional 3G wireless network capabilities. It also includes an HDMI port for connecting the device to HDTV displays and integrated GPS hardware.
Nokia will also provide access to a number of its Ovi services, including the Nokia Music Store and Ovi Suite, the latter of which provides synching capabilities with Nokia-branded phones.
Nokia’s entry into the crowded netbook market may be a bit late, but given the company’s smartphone dominance in non-US markets and close ties to wireless operators, especially in Europe, it could see some success. "We have gone into this with our eyes wide open," Oistamo said, alluding to the razor-thin margins of the PC market.
On the good news front, netbooks are the one bright spot in the PC market this year. Netbook sales are expected to grow 127 percent this year to over 26 million units. The overall PC market is expected to shrink about 10 percent this year.
Verizon Wireless will start selling a netbook – a cheaper, more basic version of a notebook – as early as next quarter, Bloomberg said, citing a person close to the project.
The devices are being developed with more than one PC maker, the news agency cited the person as saying. Price and plan details aren’t complete, the person told the news agency. Verizon Wireless, owned by Verizon Communications Inc and Britain’s Vodafone Group Plc, competes with AT&T and Sprint Nextel in the wireless carrier market. Verizon Wireless and AT&T see devices used mainly for data rather than voice as the next phase of wireless growth as the vast majority of the U.S. population owns mobile phones.
Verizon Wireless could not immediately be reached for comment.