Nokia plans to launch an ARM-based netbook that relies on the Google-pioneered Android mobile operating system in 2010, writes lazard Capital Markets analyst Daniel Amir in a research note issued this morning. In the same note, he predicts that the total number of netbooks sold worldwide will reach 25 million in 2009 vs. 10 million in 2008, with the majority of them being Intel-based machines running Windows.
Amir said he expects the Nokia notebook to be sold through carriers, which fits with Nokia's distribution system for mobile phones. From the note:
"In our conversations with ODMs, we have confirmed that Nokia is planning to enter the netbook market with a Google Android, ARM-based netbook that would be sold at carriers. Considering this market is dominated by the PC players, we believe Nokia could face an uphill battle to succeed in this market."
The market is dominated by PC players, but Nokia has teamed up with Intel, which means that if an ARM-based netbook fails, it has an alternative design in the works. Also its decision to sell through the carriers will help Nokia reach an audience that may be looking for the characteristics of a larger smartphone rather that a smaller PC.
Most netbook buyers (60 percent) use their netbooks inside the home as a cheap PC, according to a recent survey published by NPD. However, folks looking for a larger smartphond may accept the netbook compromises in exchange for instant-on, all-day access to the web without having to charge a battery. So a NokRMoid device may sell, despite having a terrible-sounding mash-up of names. Readers, any better ideas?
By Stacey Higginbotham, http://gigaom.com