Blog Post

The Truth About (Nokia) Tablet

The Nokia 770, an Internet Tablet, is getting a lot of attention these days. Despite the improvements in the OS, and new add-ons, it is still a device that leaves a lot to be desired. C/Net says it might get a webcam and might support WiMAX… some day. Whatever! Interesting but about this device is that it is a symbol of the decreasing importance of handset makers as carriers increase their grip on the wireless ecosystem. What more Nokia officials are admitting it in public

Ari Virtanen, vice president of convergence products at Nokia, told C/Net “The biggest thing is that we don’t want to be part of the cellular value chain,” he said. “We want to be a little bit out of that world. Once you put a SIM card in, it’s automatically controlled by the operator.” This from a guy who works for a company that is the number one mobile handset maker in the world.

Maybe this unintentional meaculpa does explain the Nokia-Siemens deal, and it also leads me to believe that Ericsson actually was quite smart when it got out of the handset business to concentrate on the backend infrastructure.

7 Responses to “The Truth About (Nokia) Tablet”

  1. Om, I think you got this one wrong. First a disclosure. I am on the internet advisory board of Nokia. Now anyone who knows me knows that I tend to praise or trash whoever no matter where I am. Now Nokia intended to do a device that was a wink to the Linux community so rooted in Finland and Nordic countries and for that they did a good job. But if you want to see where Nokia is going independently of operators look at the E61 or the N80. Every time you make a call they ask you if you want to make it for free over wifi or pay GSM. Every time you connect to the net same thing happens. I LOVE IT! And they are selling a million wifi enabled handsets a month!

  2. dascud

    I got the N770 at IETF a few months ago for $320. IMO its a great device with some neat apps altho i admit its requires some tweaking and is not for the average joe (but gigaOM readers hardly qualify as average joe’s )

    What’s to like.
    THe gorgeous 800×480 screen. No more sidescrolling while reading pages. Opera from the new beta 2006 OS works fine (tabbing only a matter of time)

    Skozilla, I got a 2 gig Rs MMC card for around $50 from meritline and have around 5 movies stored on it and it plays perfectly fine.
    There is a tool called media converter (freeware of course) to convert your movies to fit the n770 screen.

    I also have another 512 meg card that i use for music. Rythmbox DAP works fine now. All shoutcast stations work fine with the integrated player.

    You can allocate a portion of your flash memory to be used as swap which improves the speed a bit.

    THere are a bunch of very good apps such as maemo mapper. Paired with a bluetooth gps receiver this thing works extremely well with Text To speech functionality courtesy of flite.

    GPE PIm for regular PIM functionality. The new beta released last month has a jabber client and gtalk integrated as well (for those complaining that this is not a phone).

    There is a new thumb key board which works quite well for chat apps. Best of all is that this runs linux with possibilities for all kinds of apps being ported in the near future.

    Just head over to for the latest apps and tricks for this neat little device.

    Yes, i am a bit of a fanboy and find myself using this a lot :-).

  3. The world is not B&W.. to me grays always oversadow the others… When you wrote,
    “…Ericsson actually was quite smart when it got out of the handset business to concentrate on the backend infrastructure…”

    Smartness is really relative and only time provides the answer.. in these terms (handset and infrastructure), Lucent should be the smartest. It is one of the first (it may be first, but I dont have the data) to sell handset and concentrate on infrastructure. Rest is history…

  4. Jacob Varghese

    I think it’s a great device, but I’m not sure who would use this.

    -It can’t fit in your pocket, so you’ll need to carry a bag for it.

    -Without a docking station, you can’t use it to for work, because the screen is too small and there is no keyboard.

    Just seems like a toy for gadget lovers with money to blow.

  5. I actually got to use one of these for a day. It’s slow. It has no storage, it’s useless as a media device, and worst of all, it has no tabbed browsing. Opening more than one browser window grinds it to a halt.

    I got used to text entry pretty easily, never thought that was an issue (which I expected to be the reason to not buy one).

    If it were faster, if it had a couple gig of flash storage, if it had tabbed browsing, if you could watch a movie on it…

    It wouldn’t be a bad product, and I could see using it a ton. In fact, I’m somewhat rethinking my thoughts on the UMPC because of the Nokia – something this Mac Fanboy never thought he’d do.

    Of course, they’d have to be at the pricepoint my friend got his Nokia at – ~$350

  6. Skozilla

    “it is a symbol of the decreasing importance of handset makers as carriers increase their grip on the wireless ecosystem. “

    i think it is the other way around. who needs an operator if the device has wifi or wimax and there is skype or gtalk client for the platfom of that device? in my point of view the carriers in europe are very weak at the moment and nokia is actually doing the right thing to shrink the power of the carriers more and more. just take a look at the rise of mnvu. there’s definetly a good reason for the success of mnvus.