LG on Thursday confirmed that it is working on a tablet-style device that will run Google's Android platform. It also showed off the Optimus Z smartphone.
LG had previously confirmed that it will debut a tablet device, but hadn't locked down any sort of time frame for it. Now it says the device will be market-ready by the fourth quarter. Just in time for the holidays, it would appear.
LG didn't say much about the tablet other than that it would run Google's Android operating system. It will be branded along with LG's Optimus Series of Android smartphones. An LG-made Android tablet would join the Apple iPad, HP webOS PalmPad, and BlackBerry BlackPad in the slate-style computing realm. HP has confirmed that a tablet is in the works, but hasn't shared specific details. RIM hasn't confirmed anything about its tablet plans.
It will be interesting to see these products all go head-to-head. Which platform will serve the mobile computing needs of the masses better? With more than 3 million sales under its belt, the iPad is the proven leader the space.
Can an Android, webOS, or Blackberry OS device make a dent in the iPad's lead? Surely they will be appealing to those not interested in Apple's products. HP and RIM, in particular, will likely target the enterprise with their devices. That could be the defining characteristic that leads to adoption by mobile professionals.
LG also announced a new Optimus Android phone, the Z. According to LG, the Z will have a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, WVGA 800 x 480 pixel display, 5 megapixel camera, and Korea's T-DMB mobile TV technology. The Optimus Z will launch with Android 2.1, but will be updated to Android 2.2 by the end of the year.
LG's limited success with smartphones -- in the U.S., anyway -- causes me concern. LG has fielded several Windows Mobile and Android smartphones in the last year or so. None of them has been a big seller.
Cna LG achieve with tablets what it hasn't done with smartphones? That's a big unknown.
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