Nokia’s heavily-trailed re-entry to the consumer electronics market was confirmed on Tuesday when the firm announced a new tablet at the Slush tech conference in Helsinki. The tablet, running on Android 5.0 (Lollipop), is called the N1.
At the beginning of his presentation Sebastian Nyström, Head of Product Business at Nokia Technologies, acknowledged to the crowd that critics had long given up hope on the one-time mobile phone giant making a comeback.
“We have a great new beginning to share,” Nyström said, referring to the company’s return to consumer electronics after selling its devices unit earlier this year.
The N1 has a 6.9 mm thick anodized aluminium unibody with a 7.9 inch screen and will be available in two colours, Nyström said. At first launch, the N1 will only be available in China. The device runs Android Lollipop using Nokia’s own Z launcher.
A launcher is the way the phone’s screen looks and operates for the end user. According to the company, the Z launcher places a user’s most popular apps on the home screen and changes based on the time of the day.
Nokia has plans to introduce the device in Russia and some European markets in the months that follow. The company said it has no immediate plans to release the device in the U.S.
Nokia’s ill-fated decision to ditch its own Symbian and Meego operating systems and use Microsoft’s own smartphone platform failed to power growth in the device market for Nokia.
The firm, which was once the biggest-selling mobile manufacturer in the world, sold its loss-making mobile and smartphone division to Microsoft earlier this year for $7.5 billion. The US outfit now sells its Lumia Windows Phones under the Microsoft brand, and its cheaper feature phones using the Nokia brand.
Shortly after the announcement, the N1 began trending on Twitter.