If its a phablet, a very-large screen but still marginally pocketable touch-screen smartphone, that is ok. To race to the top on the screen size races, thats ok. It could work. If its pocketable-sized.
If its a proper tablet however, that is the second worst thing Nokia could do right now. Why? Because launching a new device type, into a new market where Nokia is not established (portable computers) where Nokia doesn't have any retail and distribution presense - is VERY expensive for any global brand. Worse, it means fighting the two strongest brands in the IT industry right now - Apple and Samsung which just about control the tablet market globally. In smartphones, by contrast, Nokia was there before either Apple or Samsung even launched their first smartphones. Nokia has invented and reinvented the smartphone space and has deep, years long relationships with the sales and distribution channels (even as they have recently been damaged by Elop's actions). And differing from handsets, in handsets the carriers/operators have a disproportionate impact to the actual sales - in the PC market there is no such thing. Nokia's long-standing strength in all markets except the USA, has been its carrier relations (which were only damaged by Elop's Microsoft madness).
Nokia would move from the market where it still commands considerable carrier good will, into a market where no such thing exists. Nokia would be abandoning what advantages it holds, to move into a market it never knew, that is well established, contested by dozens of players and dominated by the two strongest players of the industry. What is wrong with this picture?
What Nokia's CEO needs to do right now, is to STABILIZE his company and its flagship unit, the smartphone unit. His strategy plunged Nokia's profit-generating machine, the smartphone unit that had never reported a loss, into a downward spiral where it has not reported one quarter of a profit since. This while the smartphone industry is exploding globally and powering the profits of Sony, LG, Samsung, Apple etc. The CEO has to put his effort into fixing what is wrong, not pursuing costly new adventures into spaces where winning is incredibly difficult.
Samsung could succeed as could Apple with tablets, because both Samsung and Apple were PC makers and had the right distribution and sales channels to sell portable computers. Nokia has none of that. Look at Motorola, look at Blackberry (ie RIM). Both were pure handset makers who had no history in the computer market - and both failed disasterously in their tablet launches and both companies were fatally damaged in that attempt. A phone maker should not pursue the tablet market - which is tiny compared to the phone market - whereas phone makers should pursue the smartphone market - which is far far FAR larger.
The right thing for Nokia CEO to do, is to put all his resources into fixing the smartphone unit (which would start with announcing a new parallel smartphone OS platform, either MeeGo (or its derivative, Sailfish) or Android or Firefox. He would not have to announce the end of Windows (that is inevitable) but just to announce a new OS for his smartphones, and he could escape the carrier and retail sales 'boycott' that Windows based smartphones have been under for two years now. Not my words - Elop himself said speaking to Nokia shareholders that mobile operators/carriers were refusing to sell Windows based smartphones from anyone. Not my words. Elop said that. So this point is not up to argument on this blog.
So, Elop should put his effort into fixing what is broken (his company, his smartphone unit, incidentially, a unit that was reporting record profits before Elop broke it).
The only thing worse, than for a pure handset maker like Nokia (or Motorola or Blackberry) to launch a tablet, is for anyone to launch a Windows based tablet now, that Microsoft itself has admitted its own tablet has utterly failed the market. That is taking a totally suicidal strategy - handset maker launching a tablet - and compounding it with the most hated platform going - Windows.
The Nokia share price was $9.36 on the day before this mad Microsoftian misadventure was announced. Nokia's share price is now $4.06. Elop's predecessor, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo saw the Nokia share price fall 55% in three years and was fired. During Elop's tenure, the Nokia share price has fallen 57% in less time. I am not claiming all was good at Nokia before Elop. I was on this blog critical of Kallasvuo and I agreed with the decision that he was fired. But the Nokia share price has fallen more in less time - Elop is certainly a worse CEO, than Kallasvuo was. Why is Elop not fired? Is the Nokia Board in collusion with this idiot? If the Nokia Board doesn't fire Elop, the Nokia Board is also incompetent and must be fired as well.
Back to the tablet. If Nokia now wastes its precious resources to launch and market a tablet against the iPad and various Android tablets, it only means massively more waste at Nokia, more good people then being fired, and ever deeper trouble for the company. If Nokia announces a tablet, nothing good will come from that, just be warned. Look at how tablets killed Blackberry and Motorola and why can't Microsoft's own tablets find any love and traction?