Nokia returns to tablet commerce with a new Android device

The former handset maker has now unveiled a new product that will run on Google’s mobile software.

Nokia has announced its official return to tablet commerce with the unveiling of a mobile device that will be running on the Android operating system, and will mark a return of the former smartphone manufacturer into the world of hardware.

This unveiling of the Nokia tablet came only a few short months after Microsoft purchased its handset business.

This new addition to the tablet commerce marketplace will be called the N1 and will be using Nokia’s own software on top of Android. This, according to the Nokia head of products, Sebastian Nystrom, who spoke in Helsinki at the Slush technology conference. The device will sell for $249 and will be both made and sold by the Foxconn Technology Group. The first release of the tablet will be in China, during the first quarter of next year, but Nokia expects that the N1 will become available in other markets not long afterward.

This entry into tablet commerce is just the latest in a number of sharp turns the company has taken.

Nokia has been around for 149 years and has managed to keep itself alive through its willingness to transform itself while hopping from one industry to the next, as necessary. Rajeev Suri has been its CEO since May and was behind the sale of the company’s mobile phone unit – which was bleeding money – to Microsoft, for around $7.5 billion. Suri is now stepping out from the wireless network equipment field, which currently makes up about 90 percent of the sales of this Finland based company.

Nystrom explained that “We wanted to start with something small that caters to our fans,” adding that “There is room for better products out there.”

In response to this announcement, the shares at Nokia rose immediately by 1.5 percent to reach 6.31 euros. The stock rose by 7.7 percent this year, already, giving a market value to the company of 23.6 billion euros ($30 billion). It will be interesting to watch the interest generated in the new tablet commerce offerings at Nokia once the product is available for purchase.

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