Nine years before the iPad, Nokia's 'Symbian' M510...

Published by at

Widely reported today after the publishing of a Finnish book, 'The Decline and Fall of Nokia', is that there was a Symbian-running Internet tablet back in 2001, that made it into very limited production, with some details revealed below. Well, kind of Symbian - in fact, this ran EPOC, the same touch-screen OS that powered the Psion palmtops, including the netBook and Series 7. Over the next four years, EPOC was taken and split into three different Symbian production UIs and an almighty mess was created. But that's a rant we've been over before.

From the (machine) English-translated version of the original Finnish article:

Nokia M510 tablet
The M510 Nokia web tablet and Mr. Esko Yliruusi. Photo: Seppo Kärki

The Nokia 510 web tablet went into production nine years before the first iPad hit the market. A hint of the device was dropped last week when journalist David J. Cord Revealed in his book " The Decline and Fall of the Nokia"that the company had plans for a tablet computer. According to Cord the project was dropped 45 minutes before the device went into production. The information is slightly incorrect.The project was indeed dropped - but not before a production run of around 1,000 devices was completed. Most of the devices ended up in the crusher!....

The connectors of the tablet. Photo: Seppo Kärki

...The tablet was' intended to be a true consumer product. It had an e-mail client, Opera web browser, a calendar and a noticeboard application. There was a stand to keep the device in an upright position on the kitchen table.

The email client. Notice the Nokia-ish tongue-in-cheeck humor in the name of the sender. Photo: Seppo Kärki

The M510 tablet was never to be... Nokia did not release its first internet device until four years later. 2005's Nokia 770 sported a four inch screen and looked more like a smartphone than the era of the tablet. Despite some healthy sales it was not exactly a smash hit....

See the full article for more pictures and the full text.

The specifications are also published, presumably lifted from the manual or box:

Nokia M510 specifications for web tablet
Operating sytem Epoc (early Symbian)
Applications email, calendar, Opera web browser, noticeboard
Input touch screen with finger and pen control stylys, scroll wheels and buttons, external keyboard
Memory 32 MB SDRAM + 32 MB of flash
Display 10 inch LCD touch screen, 800 x 600 pixels
Weight 1876 ​​grams (4.14 lb)
Battery life 4 hr
Connectors USB, PS / 2, headphone
WLAN Nokia C111, 11 Mbit / s (802.11b), range 300 meters outdoors, 20 meters indoors

These are seriously impressive for 2001 - wi-fi built-in, 800x600 screen resolution, and so on. Anyone who's played with a Psion Series 7 or netBook will get a rough idea of what EPOC could achieve. In fact, this exact potential is what drew the original partners in Symbian together, to create an ecosystem that ended up comprising well over half a billion devices over the next ten years.

Source / Credit: Digitoday