Apple's iPad was not the first tablet computer as many may think. Tablet's have been around for many years but most of them were only targeted for business use and they were not using tablet oriented OS but Microsoft Windows. What Nokia has done was never aknowledged as it was one of the first manufacturer's to build tablet PC's using an OS specifically for tablets, that was based on Linux. That's how Maemo was born: some Debian Linux, some Series 90 User Interface (Hildon) and Nokia's Internet Tablets were born. But after Nokia's last Maemo device, the N900, which was a hybrid between a tablet and a smartphone and MeeGo becoming the successor of Maemo, we haven't seen any new tablets from Nokia for a long time.

According to a Nokia insider, Nokia will release a MeeGo tablet on the 3rd quarter of 2011. We already knew that the first smartphones powered by MeeGo will be released during the first half of 2011 and that they will be followed by tablets. What we didn't know is that both Nokia's offer won't have the vanilla MeeGo we already see either on screenshots/videos on the web or those released for N900 and Atom netbooks. Nokia was working on Maemo 6 before MeeGo's birth. There are plenty of things that will remain intact from Maemo 6 while the UI will be a hybrid between Maemo and MeeGo's Handset UX. The combination will be named MeeGo/Harmattan.

Considering that Nokia has already released a netbook, the Booklet 3G, we also expect that the next step will be also a successor to Booklet 3G powered by MeeGo Tablet Edition and that actually explains Nokia's strategy. With Qt the main developing framework it will be hard for developers to resist on that offer. They will have to write code once, and then deploy everywhere...

The current state of the vanilla MeeGo can be seen on the following video but note that Nokia's offer will be totally different.

And here is an older video demonstrating Nokia's development of the UI in the very early alpha stages of MeeGo.

Sources: dialtosave, Know Your Mobile, GottaBeMobile