Nokia is “very actively” considering entering the laptop business, according to its Chief Executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo. There have been rumors surrounding Nokia’s possible plan to enter the notebook industry since late last year, but Kallasvuo’s comments are the first official confirmation of such plans.
In an interview with Finnish national broadcaster YLE, Kallasvuo put it well when he said, "We don't have to look even for five years from now to see that what we know as a mobile phone and what we know as a PC are in many ways converging." Kallasvuo also mentioned that hundreds of millions of people access the Internet on their phones, which he says is another indication of this convergence.
The idea of a crossover between mobile computers and phones is nothing new. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently expressed sentiments about the convergence of mobile computers and phones into a single device. We’ve also watched as many PC manufacturers have crossed over into the mobile phone market. For example, Kallasvuo’s comments come a week after Acer made its entry into the phone business with eight mobile models. Acer joins Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo as other PC manufacturers who have entered this space. There have also been rumors of a potential Dell smartphone.
Kallasvuo didn’t mention if Nokia was mulling a netbook or a full-size notebook. He also didn’t say if the company would try to base such a computer on the Symbian Mobile OS.
There’s a clear financial incentive for PC makers to enter into the phone industry, given the strong profit margins. But is the lower-margin computer industry attractive enough to sway a mobile phone manufacturer? Nokia apparently thinks so.
Nokia’s scale in manufacturing, supply chain, and distribution could definitely be assets the company can utilize in this new venture. Furthermore, considering mobile network operators and retailers are selling connected notebooks and netbooks alongside mobile phones, there’s definitely a link between the two products that Nokia could capitalize upon.