Beleaguered phone maker Nokia has seemingly risen from the dead to announce a new Android-powered tablet overnight, sporting an attractive design and a low price tag.
But wait, didn’t Microsoft buy Nokia and send one of the world’s favourite phone brands to the grave? Apparently, news of Nokia’s death has been greatly exaggerated. Perhaps it's more helpful to think of the once great brand ‘hibernating’.
In its acquisition, Microsoft bought the Lumia brand and Nokia’s smartphone division, and stipulated that the remaining elements at Nokia couldn’t make smartphones until 2016.
The N1 is a sneaky Nokia side-step, being a tablet rather than a phone, and it gives us a pretty good idea about Nokia might be planning on doing in a year’s time. It’ll run on the latest version of Google’s Android (Lollipop) and features a sleek design chiseled from a single piece of aluminium alloy.
Nokia is famous for the gorgeous screens on its phones, and the N1 will not break tradition. The 7.9-inch display will use 2048 x 1536 pixels, or exactly the same number of pixels found in a new Apple iPad Mini 3. Coincidence? We think not.
Interestingly, the N1 will run on an Intel Atom processor, rather than a Qualcomm processor like 99 percent of Android phones and tablets. It comes with 32GB storage and a new Type C USB connector which can be inserted either up or down, like Apple’s Thunderbolt connector, and should be handy for when you’re trying to recharge the N1 after a night at the pub.
Perhaps the most unusual part of this announcement is that Nokia has designed the N1 and has its name engraved on the back, but it won’t actually sell you one. Instead, Chinese manufacturer Foxconn is behind making and distributing, and if you have a problem with your N1, it is Foxconn who will handle your warranty claim.
If you’re not familiar with the name, Foxconn is a giant Chinese OEM famous for being the company who handles a lot of the manufacturing for Apple’s mobile products.
For this venture, Foxconn is licensing the Nokia name and design, but will be entirely responsible for the tablet, end to end.
On so many fronts, this should be an interesting experiment to watch.