Why would a 3G mobile phone maker like Nokia enter the “Booklet” market, developing a super-thin notebook computer? Is it smart? Will it work?
The news that Nokia would move into the laptop market surprised relatively few commentators, but is the move destined to succeed for the 3gmobile phone maker – or will it spell disaster? There are mixed answers to that question as the mobile phone market is intensively competitive yet Nokia are a mobile phone giant, so why shouldn’t they be successful with the Nokia booklet?
Well, let’s look at some of the issues they face. Exactly what is the Nokia booklet? Is it a mini laptop or a very thin netbook? Will that lead to some market confusion? Marketing is something Nokia know something about and so no doubt they can dispel some of those issues. However pricing is also an issue with the Booklet expected to be several times more expensive than the cheapest netbook on the UK market anyway, which is the Hannspree Hannsnote.
The Booklet is set to be expensive, by notebook standards at least. By making its first product so expensive, Nokia sends a wrong signal to the 3g mobile industry, to which the Booklet 3G will be sold, saying that it won’t cater for the mass market as it did with products such as the Nokia 1101 or the Nokia 5800 devices. Furthermore, adopting the same Atom+Windows tandem as the rest of the industry, Nokia made it easier for prospective consumers to compare it to the other models on the market.
By launching something so similar in form factor to hundreds of other netbooks (and notebooks) on the market is bound to make selling the Booklet 3G more of a challenge for Nokia.
So many commentators are wondering why the 3g giant didn’t release a smartbook, which it is more capable of designing. And they now face the added obstacle of coming to the Netbook party a little late. We have Google’s Chrome-based Smartbook coming which is likely to be highly competitive and cost less so Nokia have a major 3gmobile challenge ahead of them. Are they up to it, as they have been with their 3g mobile phones? We will see.