Business view

ANOTHER Slush has come and gone. Slush has become the premier start-up and high-tech event in Northern Europe, drawing entrepreneurs, investors and media from all over the globe. Now that we've managed to catch our breath it's time to look back at the conference.

THE biggest news was Nokia's surprise re-entry into the consumer hardware market. I had expected the company would eventually return to consumer hardware, but not so soon. To quote myself from The Decline and Fall of Nokia: "Nokia have come back to technology and consumer products time and time again, so it is likely we will see them back in this industry in some fashion in the distant future..." The future seems to be now.

NOKIA'S tablet is a bit underwhelming. It is basically a Nokia-branded Foxconn product and just one of many cheap Android tablets. This may be more of an attempt to keep the Nokia brand in the public mind than any real attempt at tablet dominance.

JOLLA stole Nokia's thunder by announcing their own tablet running the Sailfish operating system. They have no product ready, but the public is enthusiastic: as I write this column Jolla's Indiegogo campaign has already raised 300% of their goal. The highlight of Slush for me was Marc Dillon, who was genuinely surprised at the excitement in the crowd. It was great seeing him drop the PR mask and expressing how touched he was. "I really wasn't expecting all this applause," he said.


David J. Cord
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