Finnish telecom equipment group Nokia announced an unexpected return to mobile devices Tuesday with a tablet aimed at the Chinese market.
“We are pleased to bring the Nokia brand back into consumers’ hands with the N1 Android tablet, and to help make sophisticated technologies simple,” Nokia’s head of products Sebastian Nystroem said in a statement.
It will be made by the Taiwanese technology group Foxconn — Apple’s biggest supplier — and launched on the Chinese market in early 2015 retailing “for an estimated $249 (199 euros) before taxes,” Nokia said, “with the anticipation of expanding sales to other markets”.
The device, presented at the Slush technology fair in Helsinki, resembles Apple’s iPad mini with a 7.9 inch (200 mm) screen and uses the Android operating system unlike its predecessor, Nokia’s first tablet, the Windows-driven Lumia 2520 launched in 2013.
The Lumia had a far higher price tag of $499 (around 400 euros) when it was launched in the United States and enjoyed limited success with consumers, partly due to its Windows Phone 8 operating system which has fewer applications than its Android and Apple competitors.
Nokia’s comeback was not expected, as the once world-dominating telecom company appeared set to focus on telecom services following the $7.52 billion sale of its handset division to US software giant Microsoft in April.
Nystroem described the new tablet as “a great product for Nokia fans and everyone who has not found the right Android tablet yet”.
Nokia was the global leader in mobile phones before the introduction of Apple’s iPhone in 2007 and the onslaught of Android phones, mainly from Samsung.