Nokia's N-series Internet Tablets running its Maemo OS have commanded a loyal following of enthusiasts over the years, with the latest device in the series being the excellent and versatile Nokia N900. But with the N900 incorporating full phone functionality and veering more toward the smartphone route in comparison to the earlier N800 and N810 MIDs, some fans were put off, wanting the Finnish giant to launch a true successor to the N8xx devices.
It now looks like that long wait may possibly be coming to an end with the surprise appearance of what appears to be a prototype of the next-gen Nokia Internet Tablet running the new MeeGo OS. Nothing much is known at this point, but the device is definitely something we haven't seen before, with the very thin bezel and center-aligned Nokia logo being potential tablet design indications. Estimates on screen size range between 4 to 5 inches, which would place it in the same category as the N8xx ITs. With no confirmation and all the speculation, it's also possible that this isn't a new product at all with one alternative theory being that the device is simply an in-house MeeGo development platform.
Users on the Mobile-Review forum have also spotted that the photo is extremely similar to an image of ST-Ericsson's U8500 reference platform, a system to demonstrate the company's new dual-core U8500 mobile processor featuring dual ARM Cortex-A9 cores clocked at 1.2GHz. Whether Nokia is planning to use this hardware for a new tablet or is simply using the platform for MeeGo development is still open to debate.
Nevertheless, the image has sparked imaginations and widespread discussion with those of us waiting for a new MID from Nokia hoping that it is the precursor to good news. What do you think? Is this the next-gen Nokia Internet Tablet?[Mobile-Review forum via My Nokia Blog | Engadget]