Nokia's Stephen Elop has consistently spoken about the opportunity he sees in the tablet market, and now we may have the first details of how he plans to capitalize on it. DigiTimes reports word from supplier sources that Nokia will enter the Windows on ARM race with a 10-inch Windows 8 tablet running on a dual-core Qualcomm SoC near the end of this year. More specifically, the suggestion is that Q4 2012 will be "the earliest" that Nokia will be able to offer its own tablet device.

Looking at Qualcomm's system-on-chip roadmap, the most likely candidate to perform the role of powering Nokia's Windows 8 tablet would be the Snapdragon S4, which has just been introduced in devices like the HTC One S and stands a reasonable chance of being part of Microsoft's spec for the next Windows Phone update, codenamed Apollo.

DigiTimes also notes that Taiwanese ODM Compal Electronics is expected to perform the manufacturing duties for Nokia, with 200,000 units of the purported 10-inch slabs expected to be produced in the first run. The suggested timeline here is a bit behind Dell's "day one" strategy for releasing an enterprise Windows 8 tablet the moment the new OS is released, but then Nokia's going after a different market. If it's able to marry the winning industrial design of the Lumia 800 / 900 series with Windows 8's form factor and performance, the Finnish company stands a good chance of being high on many holiday shopping lists.