Not many believed in Nokia’s tablet prospects, since the Finns decided to wager on Microsoft’s sinking Windows RT platform, but, believe it or not, the Lumia 2520 is destined to get a wingman as soon as “early 2014”.
Or at least that’s what leaker extraordinaire @EvLeaks tells us and Tom Warren of The Verge confirms, after checking with “sources familiar with Nokia’s plans”.
According to both trusted insiders, the second Lumia slate is known internally as the “Illusionist” and will mark Nokia’s first foray in the smaller than 10-inch class. Namely, in the 8-inch niche currently copiously dominated by Apple’s iPad mini, but soon to get fairly crowded, if rumors of a Google Nexus 8 being in the works gain credence.
Though chances are work is quite advanced on the latest trick up Nokia’s sleeve (pun intended), most of the specifics remain under lock and key. Still, we (think we) know the thing will run out-the-box Windows RT 8.1 (again with this nonsense?) and, surprise surprise, come with stylus support in tow.
As far as branding goes, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to guess the tab will be rolled out as a member of the ever-growing Lumia family, possibly with a digit combination to suggest it sits lower on the totem pole than the 10-inch 2520. So perhaps 2020 or something.
Now, despite Nokia being purportedly very keen on breaking new ground and attacking new niches, the Illusionist’s commercial release is not a guarantee yet. It’s no longer a secret Microsoft has made a bid to purchase the Finland-based business, with regulatory approvals the only hurdle blocking the closing of the deal.
And as some of you may know already, MS is itself working on a smaller than 10-inch slate, supposedly called Surface mini and bound to sport a screen with a diagonal of 7.5 inches or so.
Needless to say Nokia’s Illusionist could be seen as a direct rival for the other petite Windows RT pad, so there’s a good chance Redmond will look to push competition aside should the occasion arise. Not cool, but you got to do what you got to do in order to stay afloat.