Where is the Windows Phone Tablet?

The Windows Phone platform currently has hardware specifications that imply a cellular phone device. What is interesting in light of the new WebOS TouchPad, the newly announced Android tablets, the RIM Playbook and the iPad is that this supposed “third horse” of Windows Phone has no hint of present or future presence in the tablet form factor.

That might have something to do with the plans to move Windows to the tablet form factor. Perhaps Microsoft thinks that pocket size devices deserve a separate operating system, platform and ecosystem than portable mobile computers. Perhaps Microsoft plans to have two separate interfaces for these tablets (slates vs. tablets?) Then again, Ballmer held up a Windows Phone and said “This is Windows too.”

It gets confusing.

The bottom line is that without a tablet implementation, Windows Phone developers and content providers will find that the WP ecosystem will have a limited addressable market and will not be suitable for all forms of media or apps. Tablets are currently expected to grow even more rapidly than smartphones did and so there will be significant numerical advantages to those platforms that support multiple screen sizes and form factors.

Now that Nokia has anointed the Windows Phone platform as its exclusive conveyance to the device market, the question in the headline becomes: Where is the Nokia tablet?