A story that made the rounds in February caused a bit of confusion over whether cellphone maker Nokia was dipping its toes into the netbook market. In an interview, CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo dropped a hint that Nokia was planning a netbook. But the hint could also have been read as Kallusvuo implying that the company simply hadn’t ruled netbooks out. Sure, it’s a difference of degrees… but it’s the kind of difference that could let us know if a Nokia netbook is coming this year, next year, or never.
Now The Street is reporting that Nokia is not only developing a netbook, but has already reached out to Foxconn, an ODM (Original Device Manufacturer) in Taiwan to build the netbooks.
The Street’s information is based on word from “people familiar with the company,” so there’s still a chance that the info is wrong. But with wireless carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Orange, and Vodafone starting to offer subsidized netbooks with data plans, much the way they do with cellphones, it makes a lot of sense for one of the largest handset makers to get into the cellphone game. Nokia already has some experience making devices that are sort of a cross between laptops and cellphones, including the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet and the Nokia Communicator series of mobile phones.