LG preps Android-based Optimus tablet for Q4 2010; targets content creation

LG preps Android-based Optimus tablet for Q4 2010; targets content creation

Summary: LG is reportedly planning to launch another 10 smartphones -- and a tablet computer for the global market.

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As HP prepares its (Palm) webOS-based tablet computer, LG is reportedly planning to launch another 10 smartphones -- and a tablet computer for the global market.

The Wall Street Journal quotes mobile device marketing exec Chang Ma saying that the tablet will be available by the fourth quarter of this year and be a part of the company's Optimus line.

It will run on Google's Android operating system and reportedly focus on "the ability to create content, rather than simply display it," such as on Apple's iPad.

How? By focusing on the creation and editing of documents, video and programs. The key takeaway here: productivity.

Ma said in the Journal report that the U.S. would be a "key market" for the tablet. He did not comment on whether a wireless carrier would be a part of the consumer pitch, but I can't imagine why LG would make such a foray without some of its longtime partners.

The tablet is a big deal for LG, which dominated feature phones but has fell behind HTC and others in the smartphone race. While its 10 planned smartphones are a big way to make up ground, a tablet is a way to get footing in a nascent market segment.

The report also noted that LG was ramping up R&D spending and marketing, and placing its hardware bet on Nvidia's dual-core processor and 4G connectivity. No doubt much of that will make its way into the tablet.

What's most interesting about this tablet (compared to HP's planned webOS Slate or whatever it ends up being called) is that it's under development by a company that hasn't traditionally been in the computer business.

Where HP (or Dell, with its Streak family) brings years of laptop knowledge to the table, LG brings knowledge of the mobile market and its consumers' habits. There are pros and cons to this: content creation is a fairly new aspect to the mobile market, but on the other hand, mobile manufacturers have brought a simplicity to their offerings compared to traditional PC makers.

With Android on board, though, it's LG's job to break through the noise and figure out a way to both be its own success and be a catalyst for the success of the Android platform for tablets as a whole.

The existential question underlying the whole market: is a touchscreen tablet truly suited to content creation? And if so, who will move beyond novelty and make the best bid for the business market?

(Note: Illustration above is just a mockup of LG's tablet; it's not the real thing.)

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Laptops, Smartphones, Tablets

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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6 comments
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  • vaporware

    the next waporware announcement from the money losing android crowd (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-28/lg-electronics-profit-falls-33-after-company-falls-behind-in-smartphones.html). more productive? sure, because the ipad is only a toy!! (despite it is already being used by most of the fortune 500.)

    these kinds of quotes usually backfire. i am looking forward to this productive tablet with 3 hours of battery life (that you can change of course, so always have two spare batteries with you for your productive day at the office!)
    banned from zdnet
    • RE: LG preps Android-based Optimus tablet for Q4 2010; targets content creation

      @banned from zdnet I don't know which chart you're looking at, but in the real world, with real people using it, Android isn't losing any money- In fact, from what I've seen, it's more than holding it's own against iOS and Blackberry OS.
      As for the LG tablet being vaporware- I guess we'll have to wait and see.
      www.dfwsupergeek.com
      unclefixer@...
  • Yea, HTC is losing lots of money since switching to Android.

    NOT.
    DonnieBoy
    • money

      @DonnieBoy
      yes htc makes a little (motorola and lg losing a lot, sony ericsson is barely breaking even, only samsung has a really healthy phone business - but that's only thanks to their massive feature phone division not android smartphones).

      meanwhile apple takes half of the profit of the WHOLE worldwide phone business. (http://gigaom.com/2010/08/17/apple-snags-48-of-mobile-profit-pie/)

      android is a pain in the a** for hardware makers, half of them losing money or at least not making any. my prediction: in two years time motorola and lg will be out of the suicidal game, leaving htc and samsung as the remaining android players that will have hedged their bet by going half wp7.

      meanwhile apple will have 70% of the worldwide phone profits (the winner takes it all).

      it is the story of the mp3-player market in the last decade all over again.
      banned from zdnet
  • RE: LG preps Android-based Optimus tablet for Q4 2010; targets content creation

    Seems a long time ago when LG's going to make Windows Mobile its primary smartphone operating system, and there was some serious cash involved from both sides to make it happen with LG's promising to drop 50 WinMo handsets on us through 2012. That was Feb 09!
    Agnostic_OS
  • Real Artists ship.

    Let's see a product in Showrooms.
    matthew_maurice