Nokia launches ‘phablets’ ahead of Apple’s iPad upgrade

Finnish company moves into tablet market ahead of completion of Microsoft deal


Ahead of Apple’s launch of the upgraded iPad later today, Nokia has unveiled its first tablet and two large-screen smartphones, known as phablets, at the annual Nokia World event in Abu Dhabi.

The new products will face tough competition from large-screen smartphones from Samsung and Apple, which is also expected to unveil slimmer, faster iPads later today.

Microsoft is holding an event for its Surface device in New York tomorrow at which it is expected to reveal a new tablet.

Nokia’s Lumia 2520 tablet, along with its Lumia 1520 and 1620 phablets, are among the last products the Finnish company developed to compete with Apple and Samsung before deciding to sell its handset business to Microsoft .

The new Lumias use Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system, while the Lumia 1520 phablet has a 6in full HD-screen with a 20-megapixel PureView Camera.

In January, commentators predicted that 2013 would be “the year of the phablet”, due to the rapid rise of the large-screened phones last year.

The Microsoft deal is due to close in the first quarter of next year and the new products, which will still carry the Nokia brand, are part of the US company’s drive to become a leading player in global consumer devices.

Additional reporting: Reuters