Nokia is set to enter the booming phablet market, with a high-end Windows Phone device set for launch in the fourth quarter, Mobile understands.
Several sources were effusive about the quality of the Nokia device, which is believed to feature a six-inch screen and will be priced between £400 and £500 when it goes on sale in October. One said: 'The fourth quarter products will be those that won¹t necessarily dominate the majority of the market but will be for those who want the best of the best. It has really hit the nail on the head with who will buy it, how it has designed it and how it will be priced. It has done all of the right research and it has got a really good picture of what the device should be.'
Phablets have been the surprise success story of the smartphone industry in recent years, driven largely by the success of Samsung¹s Galaxy Note devices. Screen sizes have steadily increased since the original iPhone had a 3.5 inch screen, with consumers opting to watch more video content using their smartphones. Samsung announced its latest mammoth device, the 6.3 inch Mega, last week.
A Nokia spokesperson said: 'While we are always pleased to be asked, Nokia do not comment on market rumour or speculation.' However, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has been open to the Finnish smartphone maker looking into larger screen devices. In an interview with TechCrunch in February, Elop said: 'Tablets are an opportunity, and smartphones up to a certain size are an opportunity. We are looking closely [at the mid-size tablet market] and looking to see whether it will catch on.'
Phablets and tablets are seen as critical to Nokia continuing its turnaround. The manufacturer is set to deliver its latest set of financial results today. For its previous trading quarter, the three months to the end of December 2012, it posted its first profit in almost two years.
Francisco Jeronimo, research manager at IDC, said Nokia would be wise to also introduce a Windows Phone 8 tablet to the market, given the surge in sales in that category. Speaking about the mooted phablet, he said: 'A six-inch device is an opportunity for users who don¹t want two separate devices in a smartphone and tablet. It¹s a single proposition that can do a bit of both.'
Author: Graeme Neill