We’ve seen plenty of examples of companies in low margin industries making a move into the smartphone market where profit margins are still half decent. Take computer maker Acer’s unveiling of eight smartphones at the recent Mobile World Congress, or GPS device maker Garmin’s pair of nuviphone smartphones. Rarely though do we see a company move into a struggling industry with profit margins that are nearly non-existent.
Don’t tell that to the world’s leading mobile phone manufacturer Nokia. The company’s chief executive officer, Olli-Pekka Vallasvuo, told Finnish broadcaster YLE today that Nokia is “looking very actively” at manufacturing branded laptops.
Upon first thought this doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. But as Ben Wood, research director at CCS Insight told Reuters, Nokia “would be in a position to exploit its enormous scale in manufacturing, supply chain and distribution.”
Additionally, wireless carriers have very recently started to add netbooks and notebooks to their product rosters in the hopes that customers would tether them to 2 or 3 year data plans. The timing may actually perfect for Nokia to attempt an entrance into this market. It could also be one of the company’s best chances to achieve some sort of market penetration in the United States. Sure, a notebook isn’t a mobile phone, but as portable devices continue to converge, a wireless connection is a wireless connection.