Nokia Discontinues WiMax Tablet Computer

By: Peter Svensson
By: Peter Svensson
Just as Clearwire Corp. has fired up its long-awaited WiMax wireless data network in two cities, Nokia Corp. has stopped selling the only portable gadget that can use the network without accessories.

** FILE ** In this April 1, 2008 file photo provided by Nokia showing the N810 WiMax Edition. Just as Clearwire Corp. has fired up its long-awaited WiMax wireless data network in two cities, Nokia Corp. has stopped selling the only portable gadget that can use the network without accessories. (AP Photo/Nokia, File) ** IMAGE MUST BE USED IN ITS ENTIRETY, MANDATORY CREDIT, NO SALES **

NEW YORK (AP) -- Just as Clearwire Corp. has fired up its long-awaited WiMax wireless data network in two cities, Nokia Corp. has stopped selling the only portable gadget that can use the network without accessories.

Nokia spokeswoman Laurie Armstrong confirmed Wednesday that the company has discontinued the N810 Internet Tablet WiMax Edition on its Web site.

Armstrong did not say why the tablet was withdrawn. But she said Nokia is still interested in WiMax, and by the time WiMax networks are more widely deployed, "refreshed products with even better performance will be required."

Nokia's portable computer, which has a 4.1-inch touch-sensitive screen and a slide-out keyboard, is still for sale for $438 in a version without a WiMax modem.

WiMax, sometimes described as a long-range version of Wi-Fi, is a competitor to traditional cellular broadband technologies. It offers relatively fast data speeds, and its proponents hope that WiMax antennas will be built into a variety of gadgets, from small computers to GPS devices.

Leading computer manufacturers have announced their intention to make their laptops WiMax-capable, but for now the only way to use Clearwire's "Clear" network is with plug-in modems.

"We have a robust pipeline of devices slated throughout 2009 and will be providing more details in the coming weeks," said Susan Johnston, spokeswoman for Clearwire.

The network is live in Baltimore and Portland, Ore.

Clearwire was formed last year by the union of a smaller company of the same name with Sprint Nextel Corp.'s WiMax division.

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On the Net:

http://www.clear.com

http://www.nokiausa.com

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