Rumour mill: Nokia preps compact mobile PC

Having been unable to participate in the booming netbook market, Nokia is thought to be working on its own portable PC based upon the recently announced ARM multi-core Sparrow chipset. The device--which is said to have a passing similarity to the Nokia N800 Internet tablet--will use the Linux OS but not appear on the market until 2011. If the Linux aspect is true, then the Symbian Foundation must be wondering what direction Nokia will dictate for it in the near-term.

Other features of the ‘Nokia Sparrow' are said to include a multi-slide keyboard with different layouts/keys revealed as it is moved in different directions, with the display also sliding in several directions for different functions, similar to the Nokia N97 tilting display. A new, transparent widget-based interface will be used to display active applications, with each service having its own semi-transparent widget to present its content in.

Support for a netbook-type device came from Nokia boss, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, at MWC, saying the company planned to broaden the definition of the smartphone: "We will expand them into categories and form factors that have not yet been explored."

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