Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has hinted at launching a Windows tablet and spoken candidly about why Nokia ditched its own operating system and picked Windows over Android, saying that Nokia was "very worried" about Samsung's expected monopoly in the Android space.
[We] were very worried that because we would be entering Android late relative to everyone else in the industry, that perhaps one vendor was well on the road to becoming the dominant Android vendor at the expense of everybody else.Nokia CEO Stephen Elop
In Australia to visit customers, partners and staff, as well as to launch the budget Lumia 620 smartphone, Mr Elop said in a group interview at the Ivy Penthouse in Sydney on Monday that Nokia was looking at how Microsoft's Surface tablet went in the market before launching its own.
Nokia's Lumia 920, left, is available on Telstra and the 820 on Vodafone and Optus. Photo: Microsoft
While Nokia had not formally announced a tablet computer, Mr Elop said bringing one to market was something that the Finnish-based company was "clearly looking at very closely".
"We're studying very closely the market right now," Mr Elop said. "Microsoft has introduced the Surface tablet so we're trying to learn from that and understand what's the right way to participate and in what point of time but we haven't announced anything at this point."
He added that there were "some great opportunities" for a 7-inch tablet, as well as a larger one.
Microsoft hopes the way you can customise the start screen in Windows Phone 8 will lure consumers to its platform. Photo: Microsoft
Speaking hypothetically, he said Nokia "could consider any" operating system to put on a tablet it launched, but hinted that the company's "first focus" would lie with Microsoft's Windows.
"... Companionship is something that every consumer is looking for and so when you think about the Lumia 920 [smartphone] running on Windows Phone, having a Windows Phone or a Windows PC or an Xbox or any of those things as part of the broad family is something that will give us the opportunity to give a pretty integrated experience," Mr Elop said.
"So our first focus in what we look at is clearly in the Microsoft family," he added, before his minder reminded him to reiterate that no decisions had been made on Nokia launching a tablet.
Mr Elop also revealed how he had the opportunity on Sunday to visit telco stores in various parts of Sydney's CBD - "going in a bit undercover at times" - to ask store representatives what phones they recommend and asking them for demonstrations.
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