Nokia Launches Lumia 2520 Tablet, But Its Future Is Uncertain

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nokiaembedPhoto: Courtesy of Nokia.

Today, Nokia joined the tablet game. At the Nokia World conference in Abu Dhabi, the company announced its first Windows tablet, the Lumia 2520. It features a 10-inch screen and runs Windows RT, just like Microsoft's Surface 2 tablet. It packs a 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 CPU, a 6.7MP rear camera, and a 2MP front-facing camera. It's LTE-enabled and is available in a handful of colors. The Lumia 2520 will retail for $499 and go on sale later this year in the United States exclusively.

The future of the new tablet, however, is uncertain. Microsoft will soon own Nokia's device business, making the launch of the Lumia 2520 "questionable," wrote The New York Times' Nick Wingfield. (Today also happens to be the same day that the very-similar Surface 2 tablet goes on sale.) Reuters spoke to Forrester analyst Thomas Husson, who said, "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." Microsoft's $7.2 billion deal with Nokia is expected to close within the first quarter of next year.

Nokia also announced today two phablet-sized smartphones, the Lumia 1320 and 1520, each with six-inch screens. The 1520 includes a 1080p HD display, a 20MP camera, and a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor; the 1320 is more scaled-back and positioned as a budget phablet.

The timing of today's announcement might not be the best for Nokia. While the company had planned its event far in advance, Apple's iPad event later today will likely eclipse the news of its devices. (Reuters)