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Nokia Windows 8 tablet possibly snapped

Eagle-eyed photographers at a Nokia event in Pakistan may have snapped the latest image of the long-rumoured Nokia Lumia tablet running Windows 8 - most probably Windows RT.

Images from the Pakistan launch event for the cut-price Lumia 620 and publicised by Nokia Gadgets show a tablet device running the tile-based Windows 8 user interface, sat next to a Lumia smartphone and an HDTV.

It's not the first we've heard about Nokia's plans to branch out from the smartphone market - company design chief Marko Ahtisaari mentioned he was spending a third of his time on tablet development in an interview back in March 2012, and Digitimes reported in December that Nokia has postponed development of a 10in tablet when Microsoft announced its own Surface RT.

Nokia's success in the Windows Phone ecosystem is undeniable: its Lumia smartphones have shot the company from last place in the market to becoming the top Windows Phone maker in the world with a 33.1 per cent share - buyers are even opting to purchase its flagship Lumia 920 handset over the rival Apple iPhone 5 - thanks largely to vastly superior support for non-US Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G networks.

Nokia, for its part, has not commented on the image, but the company has form in the tablet market: its Maemo operating system powered early tablet-like devices known as the the Nokia Internet Tablet family. The ARM-powered devices, starting with the Internet Tablet 770 in 2005, were compact pocket-sized devices with touch-screen interfaces and, while not a commercial success, helped define the company's plans for the Lumia family.

A return to the tablet market could be good for Nokia: while a competitive market, the success of its Lumia smartphone range has given the company a badly-needed boost - but this time it will have to compete with strategic partner Microsoft for sales, rather than being the flag-carrier for the Windows brand.

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