Blog Post

Analyst: Nokia to Offer an Android Netbook in 2010

[qi:gigaom_icon_netbook] Nokia (s NOK) plans to launch an ARM-based netbook that relies on the Google-pioneered Android (s goog) mobile operating system in 2010, writes Lazard Capital Markets analyst Daniel Amir in a research note issued this morning. In the same note, he predicts that the total number of netbooks sold worldwide will reach 25 million in 2009 vs. 10 million in 2008, with the majority of them being Intel-based (s intc) machines running Windows (s msft).

Amir said he expects the Nokia notebook to be sold through carriers, which fits with Nokia’s distribution system for mobile phones. From the note:

“In our conversations with ODMs, we have confirmed that Nokia is planning to enter the netbook market with a Google Android, ARM-based netbook that would be sold at carriers. Considering this market is dominated by the PC players, we believe Nokia could face an uphill battle to succeed in this market.”

The market is dominated by PC players, but Nokia has teamed up with Intel, which means that if an ARM-based netbook fails, it has an alternative design in the works. Also its decision to sell through the carriers will help Nokia reach an audience that may be looking for the characteristics of a larger smartphone rather than a smaller PC. Most netbook buyers (60 percent) use their netbooks inside the home as a cheap PC, according to a recent survey published by NPD. However, folks looking for a larger smartphone may accept the netbook compromises in exchange for instant-on, all-day access to the web without having to charge a battery. So a NokARMoid device may sell, despite having a terrible-sounding mash-up of names. Readers, any better ideas?

46 Responses to “Analyst: Nokia to Offer an Android Netbook in 2010”

  1. r4nd0mn4me

    Face it, cell phones are becoming less and less like phones and more like super small computer/cameras that happen to have the ability to make phone calls. With these Smartbooks *half smart phone, half netbook* we could see an always on, instant on computer that you can have in your back pack and with a Bluetooth ear piece, make and receive phone calls all day and yet still have a keyboard that you can work on that memo with out overworking your thumbs and eyes. With a tablet style OLED touch screen, I expect that if they make it good enough, then artists will take to it like a next gen canvas and be able to paint landscapes anywhere they want. And I disagree with this “nerd device” stuff. Nerds and Geeks are always on the forefront of tech, they will always have the newest and most interesting stuff, and it is they who best promote tech products. I myself get asked about my Toshiba NB-200 and HTC Dream all the time, and when they see what I can do with them they are vastly more interested in the products than some advertising campaign.

    • Agree with r4nd0mn4me’s take. Netbooks were born as slimmed down notebooks. Nokia is betting that there is a market for a smart phone on steriods, a true small hand-held computer. Me thinks there are more people out there using smartphones as small mobile computers who would like something bigger with more functionality that people using notebooks who really want something smaller, more portable. The point about the bluetooth earpiece is also well said by r4nd0mn4me.

  2. These babies will sell well just because it’s Nokia. Brand-awareness won’t disappear by 2010. Millions of people will know that Nokia poduces “a small computer”, even without knowing it’s a “netbook” and that netbooks existed well before that. The only prerequisite is going out of “nerd device” status – if they will position this as a device for nerds, it won’t work. When _common person_ is ready to have “a small computer”, then exact number of units sold is just a question of marketing.

  3. I think you guys are missing the point. Android by default is/was a cellphone operating system. Carriers can use it in a netbook with their wireless network plans. You could visit a Sprint or cellphone carrier store buy a netbook with cellphone access. Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m not so sure Moblin has this ability or the reach the Android os does with cellphones.

  4. HereAndNow

    It would be cool, to see Nokia get into Android. Android is open source, so they could create whatever “Nokia” user experience they want on it (as HTC has done with the HTC Hero & Lenovo plans with the oPhone). Nokia could even replace Google’s services with Ovi services.

    Android would allow Nokia to focus on great devices, apps & services (real revenue), while the OHA members & Android community share the development & support costs of the base platform.

    • mirmit

      Nokia has its own Open Source platform for smartbook/tablet… whatever you call it. It’s Maemo, it has a Nokia user experience. It has even a Palm emultor.

      I will not beat for more than a potential Android run time, but even this seem hard to see.

  5. I don’t think that Nokia would go Android, given Nokia’s Maemo and Intel’s Moblin. Perhaps they will combine Maemo and Moblin, but Android is highly unlikely.