Nokia has unveiled its first tablet computer and two new large-screen smartphones to match the offerings of its rivals.
The so-called phablets – the Lumia 1320 and 1520 – sport six inch displays.
The tablet – the Lumia 2520 – has a 10-inch screen and has the advantage of being able to access Microsoft’s Office applications, including Excel and Word:
Nathan Day, a blogger for US-based PC and tablet blog Slashgear believes that will help sales: “I think Nokia has definitely got a leg up on what they announced for their capabilities, just in the business environment and the connectivity that they have offered in the Lumia 2520.”
Tablets are essential for new Nokia owner Microsoft’s push to become a leading player in consumer devices.
Gartner predicts 263 million will be shipped next year, up from 120 million last year.
The Nokia tablet will also compete with Microsoft’s own Surface devices, which had analysts questioning the logic.
“Despite a more affordable price, the respective positioning of Nokia’s tablet versus the Surface 2 is not obvious and will have to be dealt with after the Nokia acquisition,” Forrester analyst Thomas Husson said.
All the devices just announced use Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system and will face tough competition from Samsung and Apple.
“Nokia and Microsoft still have a lot to prove with respect to Windows Phone,” said Kevin Restivo, an analyst at research firm IDC. “The new products address the demand for large-screen devices. But for consumers … the question is, why should I choose Windows.”
Previous Lumia devices have been well received by technology blogs and critics, but sales have been slow, partly because of a lack of apps produced for Windows Phone.