The Nokia T20.
Ryan Browne | CNBC
LONDON – The Nokia branded cell phone company unveiled its first tablet, the Nokia T20, as a challenge for Apple’s iPad on Wednesday.
According to HMD Global, the tablet, which runs on Google’s Android operating system, has a 10.4-inch 2K display and a huge 8,200-milliampere-hour battery.
The company promises up to 15 hours of use when fully charged. For more power hungry users, HMD supports 10 hours of video streaming on platforms like YouTube and Netflix, according to HMD.
It also has family-friendly features like Google Kids Space, a kid mode setting that only shows kids safe content, and Family Link, a system that introduces parental controls.
The Nokia T20 starts at 199 euros in Europe or $ 249.99 in the US. It’s available in two versions: one with Wi-Fi only support and another with 4G connectivity. The latter costs a little more at 239 euros.
The company did not provide any information on the release date or availability.
HMD, based in Espoo, Finland, has been licensed to use Nokia’s brand of mobile phone since 2016 when the company bought it from Microsoft.
The company, which is majority owned by former Nokia manager Jean-Francois Baril, counts among other investors Google, Qualcomm and Nokia.
It has launched several smartphones over the years as well as the touchscreen phones that Nokia is best known for. Notable product launches include the re-releases of the iconic Nokia 3310 and Nokia 8110 “banana phones” that were featured in the movie “The Matrix”.
HMD’s feature phone business has done well. However, the company was less fortunate with its smartphones, which made up less than 1% of the market last year.
In July, HMD launched the Nokia XR20, a “rugged” smartphone designed for extreme environmental conditions. The company says the model has already exceeded sales expectations.
Now, HMD hopes to capitalize on the growing demand for tablets after working from home and distance learning became the norm for many during the pandemic.
According to data from Strategy Analytics, global tablet sales will grow for the first time in six years in 2020.
For $ 250, the Nokia T20 could be seen as an attempt to lure consumers away from Apple. However, this is not the goal, says HMD product marketing director Adam Ferguson.
“We don’t tend to base our strategy on who to steal shares from,” Ferguson said, adding that the tablet would likely attract Android users more than Apple customers.
In addition to the long battery life, the T20 also offers four years of monthly security updates and three years of Android upgrades.
With the device, HMD is aimed at both business customers and consumers. The T20 is said to be included in Android’s Enterprise Recommended program for business.
Ferguson said the T20 is just one in a planned line of tablets the company plans to launch, hinting that a future model would likely support new 5G networks.