Nokia jumps into netbook market

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The Independent Tech

Nokia, the world's largest maker of cell phones, says that it will start making a small, light laptop, similar to ones PC manufacturers are already selling through wireless carriers around the world.

The Finnish company says the Nokia Booklet 3G will run Microsoft's Windows software, have a 10-inch (25-centimetre) screen and weigh 1.3 kilograms.



That puts it squarely in the "netbook" category pioneered by Taiwanese manufacturers like AsusTek Computer.



Nokia said it would reveal the price and launch date of the PC on 2 September. Most netbooks sell for less than £300.



Nokia said its PC would be "satisfying a need" among wireless carriers.



US mobile networks AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless have started selling netbooks in their stores, subsidising the purchase for customers who sign up for wireless broadband plans.



Sprint Nextel has started subsidising netbooks sold at electronics store Best Buy.



In Europe, many carriers started selling netbooks last year.



Vodafone sells a Dell Inspiron 9 in New Zealand with a mobile broadband plan component.



Unlike most netbooks, Nokia's Booklet will have a built-in GPS navigation chip coupled to Nokia's Ovi Maps software, and an aluminium cover to contrast with the usual plastic.



Nokia has previously tried to expand its portfolio beyond cell phones, making a "tablet" computer that runs non-Windows software. It hasn't been a mainstream success.



Going further back, PCs were among the wide range of products Nokia made before it became a cell phone powerhouse. It sold off the computer division in 1991.

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