More On Nokia’s Tablet: Apple’s Chinese Contractor Will Build It?

Back in April, we reported a financial analyst’s forecast that Nokia (NYSE: NOK) is planning to follow Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) with a tablet of its own this coming fall. Now another analyst has weighed in with more info…

“Talking with upstream component makers, the analyst pointed out that Nokia has already completed about 100 engineering samples ready for testing. The tablet PC’s panel size will be either 7- or 9-inch and manufactured by Foxconn International Holdings (FIH), the Hong Kong-listed handset subsidiary of Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry), the analyst noted.”

The note is interesting because it comes from Taiwanese and Chinese semicon research firm Digitimes. Foxconn, of course, is the same Chinese outfit that manufactures Apple’s iPhones, iPads and MacBooks, as well as gadgets from other hardware companies.

Unlike the April analysis from Rodman & Renshaw, which reckoned Nokia would pick Windows 7 for its tablet, Digitimes says: “Nokia will likely adopt Meego as the operating system and believes the company will work with its telecom carrier partners for sales.”

But, whilst the earlier analysis note forecast a September-October shipping date, Digitimes largely agrees that a “fourth-quarter” release is coming, with Nokia’s tablet running on an ARM chip.

If any of this sounds familiar, it may be because Nokia has already undertaken one luke-warm effort to ape other companies in a related space. Its high-specced, high-priced Notebook netbook last year was an attempt to reingratiate Nokia with the telcos and mobile phone retailers who were beginning to offer subsidised netbooks with mobile contracts.

But it has so far made little headway. Nokia will need to execute beautifully with its tablet, and seriously consider how best to present Meego on a device other than the mobile phones for which it was designed, if it is to deliver a counter-punch to Apple on tablets.