The Street is reporting that Nokia is gearing up to contend with tablet manufacturers like Apple and HP by releasing a new device this year.

According to Rodman Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar, who The Street says is close to Nokia's technology partners, the Finnish telecommunications company is working with suppliers and designers to have a tablet ready as early as this autumn.

The tablet will likely run MeeGo, the mobile operating system that was produced when Nokia and Intel merged Mobilin and Maemo (try saying that five times fast).

While the rumoured tablet will go up against some stiff competition in the hardware space, MeeGo will have its own challenges. As an operating system, it will be going against mobile firmware such as iPhone OS, Android, Chrome and Windows Phone 7.

The tablet race has heated up exponentially since the iPad released last week. The future for this lucrative market will be an interesting one to follow.