Rumour mill: Nokia and Dell race to launch Android netbook this year

Leaked information would indicate Nokia is on the verge of announcing plans to launch an Android-based netbook late this year, or early 2010. The device would likely use an ARM-based processor from Nokia's new-found friend, Qualcomm, in the shape of its acclaimed Snapdragon chipset.

Meanwhile, Dell is said to be preparing an Android-based mobile Internet device (MID) for launch later this year based around an ARM chipset. Critically, however, those that have seen the prototype (which is iPod in size) claim the Dell device is only enabled for 3G data--not voice. The company has long-held ambitions to enter the mobile sector, although its earlier smartphones were said to have disappointed operators and were hastily withdrawn.

Nokia's Android device, which might be short-lived given the company's commitment to Linux and Symbian, could be launched with many features of the Nokia internet Tablet, but adding a 3G radio and a UI based more on smartphone principles than today's netbooks.

The source of this information would appear to be the Taiwanese ODM's that Nokia has been in negotiation with over supplying a more conventional Nokia-branded netbook. However, the netbook market has worryingly shown the first signs of slowing, albeit that 21 million units are expected to ship this year and 30 million units in 2010.

Adding further complication to this ‘informed speculation', a research note from one financial analyst claimed that Nokia will want to play both in the classic netbook market as well as the burgeoning Android segment. As such, Nokia is said to be ready to place orders for Intel Atom-based netbooks and Snapdragon-based Android devices from the Taiwanese manufacturers Quanta and Compal Electronics respectively.


For more on this story:
E-Week Europe and Rethink Wireless

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