It was reported that Stephen Elop, CEO of handset giant Nokia, had said that the company has no immediate plans to offer a tablet device, following previous speculation that the company was planning devices powered by Microsoft’s Windows 8 platform. According to Dow Jones Newswires, the executive said that the Finnish vendor is “studying the markets carefully,” and “perhaps we will come [to market] one day.”

The news comes shortly after it was reported that Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt had said that “in the next six months we plan to market a tablet of the highest quality.” This was seen as an indication that the company is set to launch a flagship tablet using the Android platform – similar to its efforts with its Nexus-branded smartphones.

So far, a number of vendors including Samsung and Motorola have launched Android-powered tablets, but these have not come close to usurping market leader Apple’s iPad range. The launch of Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which runs a modified version, as well as the launch of a new version of Android (Ice Cream Sandwich) which unifies smartphones and tablets, may see the platform proving more of a challenge in 2012.

Microsoft has also been notably absent from the early stages of the tablet market, due to its lack of a platform targeting the resource-constrained devices. Windows 8 is designed to address this, and the company has been working to build a developer ecosystem to support the OS.

Last week, research firm IDC said that global tablet shipments had failed to meet its 3rd quarter forecasts – with Android losing some of its market share during the period.