Nokia Not Ready for a Tablet -- Yet

If cell phone maker Nokia rolls out a tablet device one day, it will be late to a game where its competitors have a big head start.

Some observers think the company would be better off focusing all its resources on a successful smartphone portfolio first, then worry about a tablet down the road.

Nokia's chief, Stephen Elop, seems to be looking for the middle ground.

Speaking at the All Things Digital conference, Elop said the company will bring a cutting-edge tablet to market when conditions are right.

"Our engineers are working very hard on something that will be different relative to everything else that's going on in the market," he said. "We could take advantage of Microsoft technology and software, and build a Windows-oriented tablet, or we could do things with some of the other software assets that we have."

Unless Nokia has a hidden ace up its sleeve, "other software assets" refers to the Linux-based that Nokia's been working on in various forms for six years, although , among others.