The chief executive officer of the world’s largest maker of cell phones, Nokia, said in an interview that his company might be interested in entering mobile personal computer business. The company did not outline exact plans, but if Nokia starts to sell personal computers, the market may face rather significant changes. There is a problem though: Nokia has once quit PC biz already.
“We are looking very actively also at this [mobile PC] opportunity. […] We don’t have to look even for five years from now to see that what we know as a cell phone and what we know as a PC are in many ways converging,” said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, chief exec of Nokia, in an interview with Finnish YLE TV channel, reports Reuters news-agency.
This is not the first time when information regarding Nokia’s intention to (re)-enter the market of personal computers transpires, but the claim made by the CEO may be considered as an official confirmation of certain plans.
It is not completely clear whether Mr. Kallasvuo referred to notebooks or netbooks in the interview. The market of netbooks may pose a lot of interest to Nokia as netbooks are used widely to access the Internet using cell networks. Moreover, Nokia already has mobile Internet devices (MIDs) in the lineup (N810 Internet Tablet, for example) and there are a lot of similar between MIDs and netbooks.
PC business is not completely new to Nokia. Back in the eighties, Nokia produced personal computers named MikroMikko, but then sold its computer business to International Computers Limited (ICL) in 1991. ICL eventually became a part of Fujitsu Siemens Computers. Nokia also used to produce PC monitors in the nineties, but also sold the business to ViewSonic in 2000.
“Nokia maybe nervous about entering a market segment that is already heavily commoditized, but it would be in a position to exploit its enormous scale in manufacturing, supply chain and distribution. All leading mobile network operators and retailers are adding connected notebooks and netbooks to their portfolios alongside mobile phones. On this basis it comes as no surprise that Nokia is evaluating this segment,” said Ben Wood, research director at CCS Insight.