Nokia design chief says company is working on a tablet

Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) design chief indicated that the handset maker is hard at work on a tablet product, the latest executive at the company to say so--despite official denials from Nokia.

Marko Ahtisaari, Nokia's senior vice president of hardware and software design


In an interview with Finnish magazine Kauppalehti Optio, Marko Ahtisaari, Nokia's senior vice president of hardware and software design, said he spends roughly a third of his time working on the tablet. He said that the product will be able to stand out from hundreds of competitors vying to compete with Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad. "We are working on it," he told the magazine, according to Reuters.

Nokia did not entirely disavow Ahtisaari's comments but said it had no plans to launch a tablet. "We continue to eye the tablet space with interest, but have made no specific announcements," a Nokia spokesman told Reuters.

In December, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said the company does not have "an exact plan, but we are studying the markets carefully" on tablets. His comments came a month after Paul Amsellem, the head of Nokia France, said that "in June 2012, we will have a tablet running Windows 8."

A report earlier this week in DigiTimes, which cited unnamed sources, said Nokia may release a 10-inch tablet running Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 8 platform by the fourth quarter at the earliest. Windows 8 is based around the same user interface as Windows Phone, which Nokia is now using as its primary smartphone platform.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this ZDNet article
- see this DigiTimes article

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