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Nokia preparing an 8-inch Lumia tablet for early next year

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Nokia (STOCK)
Nokia (STOCK)

Nokia is currently preparing its next Windows-based Lumia tablet. Twitter account Evleaks first revealed the codename for Nokia’s 8-inch Windows tablet — Illusionist – and The Verge can confirm the Finnish smartphone maker is readying it for a release early next year. Sources familiar with Nokia’s plans have confirmed the Illusionist codename, while revealing that the device will ship with Windows RT 8.1 and a Qualcomm processor. We understand Nokia is planning to release its smaller tablet around the same time its 6-inch Lumia 1320 debuts in certain markets next year.

While Nokia is pushing ahead with its small tablet plans for next year, it’s not clear whether the device will ever make it to the market broadly. Pending regulatory approval, Microsoft is expected to close its Nokia deal to acquire the hardware business in early 2014. Both Nokia and Microsoft are unable to cooperate closely until the deal is approved, and both firms have to continue with existing product plans to avoid regulatory scrutiny. Microsoft is also expected to launch its own 7.5-inch Surface "mini" in early 2014, meaning the company could have two similar Windows RT-based tablets for next year.

Still more Lumia to come

We also understand that Nokia’s Illusionist tablet will include a similar look and feel to the company’s recently announced Lumia 2520. Nokia will likely pick a lower Lumia numbering scheme for its upcoming 8-inch tablet to differentiate it from the 2520. Nokia is also preparing to launch a Lumia 929 handset on Verizon and a refreshed Lumia 525 low-cost Windows Phone. While Nokia World was thought to be the last major event for the Finnish firm, it’s clear it still has a number of devices to launch in the coming months regardless of the Microsoft deal.