Ex-employee claims Nokia tablet existed 9 years before Apple iPad

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Almost 9 years before the first iPad was released, Nokia had developed a tablet running Symbian OS, called the Nokia 510 web Tablet. The revelation was made by journalist David J. Cord in his book “The Decline and Fall of Nokia” that the Finnish company had plans for a tablet computer. Cord claims in his book the project was shelved 45 minutes before the device went into production.

However, website Digitoday quoting ommunications telecommunications expert Mr. Esko Yliruusi who was associated with the project, says the tablet did go into the production and that a production run of around 1000 devices was completed before it was halted.

Most of the devices were sent to the crusher, though Yliruusi says there are about 130 surviving devices. “I had a strong feeling that this one is a keeper. There were things in the device that were done just as they should be. I felt that we shall be hearing of gadgets like this,” says Yliruusi.

Yliruusi reveals the tablet never saw the light of day because consumers weren’t ready for the device then. “It was stated that it is not yet the time for a device like this, tells Mr. Yliruusi. It was a marvelous concept but nothing the consumers would yet accept, he continues,” he added.

After the closure of the project, the development team was sacked. While some were re-employed by Nokia, several others joined somewhere else. Mr. Yliruusi was associated with the project from early 2001 until August when the project was dropped.

The Nokia Web Tablet had impressive set of specifications, perhaps ahead of its time. The tablet was based on an early version of Symbian, called Epoc. The tablet featured apps such as email, calendar, “noticeboard” and Opera web-browser apps.

It had a touch-screen with stylus support. The tablet had buttons and toggles on the sides. The display was a 10-inch with 800×600 pixels resolution. Here’s full specifications of the Nokia tablet:

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