updated 12:20 pm EDT, Thu August 19, 2010
LG Optimus tablet positioned against iPad
LG in an interview today positioned its upcoming Android tablet as the antithesis of Apple's iPad [sub. required]. Marketing VP Chang Ma told the WSJ that the slate, which will go under the Optimus badge used for phones in Korea, should be "surprisingly productive." Apple's device is more focused on consuming content, he said.
Ma wouldn't say how the tablet shipping in the fall would achieve LG's goal. Android by itself doesn't have any inherently creative apps pre-installed and doesn't yet have any apps optimized for tablet size that could help. The iPad does have creative apps, including drawing tools as advanced as Autodesk Sketchbook Pro as well as Apple's iWork suite, DataViz's Documents To Go and numerous music apps.
LG will take on Apple in the US, but the executive didn't say if the tablet would have 3G or have options for either unlocked or carrier-discounted models.
The company is less optimistic about its smartphone prospects but hopes to turn back sustained market share losses with a much more concerted effort. It has already launched the Optimus phone line in Korea and plans a worldwide campaign with most every developed country getting the Optimus One, its entry-level Android phone, in September. A total of 10 devices are due by the end of the year, including at least one Windows Phone phone, the Pacific.
LG also plans to stand out at the high end and will have at least some phones based on NVIDIA's dual-core Tegra 250 in the fall, giving them support for 1080p video and fast 3D. A phone using LTE-based 4G is due for early 2011, although current technology would limit 4G to data rather than voice. Verizon may be its first candidate as its 4G roadmap includes LTE phones in January.
LG has long been one of the largest cellphone manufacturers overall but has been sinking as its lack of compelling smartphones have cost it share to Apple, RIM and closer Asian rivals like HTC. LG may have set itself back by agreeing to a questioned deal with Microsoft that left it committed to the unpopular Windows Mobile platform until last year.