The Nokia T20.
Ryan Browne | CNBC
LONDON — The company that makes Nokia-branded phones on Wednesday unveiled its first tablet, the Nokia T20, in a challenge to Apple’s iPad.
HMD Global said the tablet, which runs on Google’s Android operating system, comes with a 10.4-inch 2K display and a huge 8,200 milliamp-hour battery.
The firm promises up to 15 hours of usage on a full charge. For more power-hungry users, HMD says the T20 supports 10 hours of video streaming on platforms like YouTube and Netflix.
It also comes with family-friendly features like Google Kids Space, a “kids mode” setting that shows only safe content to children, and Family Link, a system which introduces parental controls.
The Nokia T20 starts at a price of 199 euros in Europe, or $249.99 in the U.S. It comes in two versions: one with only Wi-Fi support, and another with 4G connectivity. The latter costs a bit more, retailing at 239 euros.
The company did not disclose information on release date and availability.
Espoo, Finland-based HMD has held the license to use Nokia’s handset brand since 2016, when the company bought it off Microsoft.
The company, which is majority-owned by former Nokia executive Jean-Francois Baril, counts the likes of Google, Qualcomm and Nokia as investors.
It’s launched several smartphones over the years, as well as the non-touchscreen phones for which Nokia is most well-known. Notable product launches include revivals of the iconic Nokia 3310 and the Nokia 8110 “banana phone,” which featured in the movie “The Matrix.”
HMD’s feature phone business has performed well. However, the company has had less luck with its smartphones, which accounted for less than 1% of the market last year.
In July, HMD launched the Nokia XR20, a “rugged” smartphone designed to withstand intense environmental conditions. The company says the model has already exceeded its expectations in terms of sales.
Now, HMD is hoping to capitalize on growing demand for tablets after working from home and remote learning became the norm for many during the pandemic.
Global tablet sales were forecast to reach growth in 2020 for the first time in six years, according to data from Strategy Analytics.
At $250, the Nokia T20 could be viewed as an attempt to lure consumers away from Apple. However, HMD product marketing chief Adam Ferguson says this isn’t the aim.
“We don’t tend to build our strategy around who can we steal share off,” Ferguson said, adding the tablet was likely to attract Android users more than Apple customers.
Beyond its long battery life, the T20 also comes with four years of monthly security updates and three years of Android upgrades.
HMD is targeting business clients as well as consumers with the device. It says the T20 is included in Android’s Enterprise Recommended scheme for businesses.
Ferguson said the T20 was only one in a planned series of tablets the company plans to launch and hinted that a future model would likely come with support for new 5G networks.