Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Nokia to enter PC industry with first netbook. Sony Ericsson to bring out netbook hybrid?

The world's top cellphone maker Nokia said it would start to make laptops, entering a fiercely competitive but fast-growing market with a netbook running Microsoft's Windows operating system.

Nokia had earlier this year said it was considering entering the laptop industry, crossing the border between two converging industries in the opposite direction to Apple, which entered the phone industry in 2007 with the iPhone.

But Nokia's first netbook, the Nokia Booklet 3G, will use Microsoft's Windows software and Intel's Atom processor to offer up to 12 hours of battery life while weighing 1.25 kilograms. Netbooks are low-cost laptops optimised for surfing the Internet and performing other basic functions. Pioneered by Asustek with the hit Eee PC in 2007, netbooks have since been rolled out by other brands such as HP and Dell.

"The question is: How will Nokia differentiate? This is already a crowded market. If they manage to differentiate it's going to give them competitive advantage," said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi.

Nokia's choice of Windows software surprised some analysts who had expected the company to use Linux in its first laptop.

Nokia said it would unveil detailed specifications, market availability and pricing of its new device on Sept 2.

A source close to Nokia said the new netbook would use the upcoming Windows 7 operating system. Microsoft says a stripped-down version of Windows 7 will be introduced to netbooks the same time as its general release on October 22.

Sony Ericsson is working on a Smartbook

Meanwhile, reports from Taiwan are suggesting that Sony Ericsson is the latest manufacturer to bring out a device that bridges the gap between netbook and smartphone.

The idea is it will sit somewhere (in terms of size and functionality) between the Sony Vaio P and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1.

The report states a "reliable Taiwanese source which is directly connected to a lot of smartphone - and upcoming smartbook-manufacturers" has confirmed the company is looking at such a model, which would run one of the new chipsets from the likes of Qualcomm or ARM.

There's not a huge amount of other information, and it's quite likely to only be a formative idea at the moment given the company's financial predicament, but it shows that the segment is growing in popularity.

The likes of Intel, with the x86 processor, and others like Qualcomm with the 1GHz Snapdragon processor are looking to supply to these mobile internet devices, which bring advanced smartphone functionality and some laptop-style specification.

Early reports believe these devices will begin gaining popularity next year and will be then set to ride the 4G wave, when true high-speed mobile internet will be widely available.

Compiled from the original Sources:

Nokia Booklet 3G first video - Youtube