Nokia could be set to attack the nascent tablet market now that Apple has dipped its toe into the water.

Analysts are predicting that Nokia will build on its long-standing history of internet tablets, which you could argue are pre-cursors to the iPad, and release a new version.

The Nokia N800 internet tablet carried a number of similar iPad traits (such as being Wi-Fi only, which is a flavour Apple is offering) but it seemed that when the N900 came out that would be the direction Nokia was taking the line.

Bigger and better

Rodman Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar, who The Street is dubbing 'close to Nokia's technology partners', is backing Nokia to produce a larger, more powerful device to join the tablet market from the start.

"Nokia hasn't fielded any breakaway products in years," says Kumar. "This is a new window, and Nokia had better be at the starting gate if and when the product category takes off."

Nokia is already somewhat acitve in this area, having unveiled the Booklet 3G netbook, so a move to tablet PCs seems like a very logical step for the Finnish company.

Nokia is apparently working with suppliers and design manufacturers, and could even produce a device with a UK release date as early as Q4 2010.

Via The Street