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PCs Meet Cell Phones in New Battleground

Stocks in this article: NOKMSFTHPQ

As if you needed more proof that the portable computing industry is converging -- two of the major players have just about flat out announced that they're going to be traipsing on each other's business space.

Nokia (NOK) the world's No. 1 cell-phone manufacturer, could soon be entering the laptop market, CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo says.

In an interview with Finnish national broadcaster YLE, Kallasvuo said the firm was "looking very actively" at the opportunity. That statement seems to confirm long-running speculation that the vendor will diversify into laptops.

"We don't have to look even for five years from now to see that what we know as a cell phone and what we know as a PC are in many ways converging," Kallasvuo said.

Nokia is rumored to be developing computers based on ARM's new "Sparrow" processor for Netbooks and mobile Internet devices (MIDs), and they are reportedly looking at a 2011 launch. Don't forget, Nokia now owns Symbian and all of its operating systems -- including software that used to power Psion PDAs and minilaptops in the past.

Mobile World Congress

Such a strategy by Nokia would be seen as a response to the increasingly expanding list of laptop manufacturers that are moving into the mobile handset space. Last week at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, we saw companies like Acer, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Lenovo, Toshiba (the amazing TG01 smartphone) and Asus (new Garmin-Asus nuvifones) making announcements about new smartphone designs.

Dell (DELL) had also been rumored to have a new smartphone at the show, but it never appeared.

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