At GigaOM, Alistair Croll explains what the Nokia Internet Tablet is all about — positioning Nokia to be completely ready for the open, walkaround web*. It's not about selling more devices and making money now, but owning the market later.
Croll cites Nokia's Anssi Vanjoki, EVP of multimedia, as pointing to the overwhelming need outside of the U.S. for web access to be primarily handheld and not tied to a desk. (And not tied to a single
carrier for one-person/one-phone telephony.)
Nokia sees that closed platforms cripple the ability to compete in the coming world. Hence its commitment to Linux (as contrasted to Apple's approach with the iPhone). And more critically that, basically, everyone will want to access the web from anywhere, at any time. Hence the computer that you walk around with had better be suited for the web (800 pixels wide) and light enough to carry everywhere (8 ounces or less).
This strategy explains such disparate events as the accelerated release cycle (three NIT's within 20+ months), the size- and price-discrepancy compared to the UMPC, and Nokia's support of the open-source community.
Nokia is taking the long view, Croll says, and when the walkaround web is firmly fixed in place, Nokia will be farther along on the learning curve making the devices we will all want. And be most firmly situated in the public's mind as the company that gets it.
* My term, not his.