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Vizio confirms Android-based tablet, smartphone

updated 05:45 pm EST, Sun January 2, 2011

Vizio gets into tablets and phones

Vizio on Sunday afternoon confirmed many of the details behind its Rose Bowl tablet teaser. The erstwhile TV maker is now getting into mobile devices and will use Android for the Via Tablet, an eight-inch slate with a front camera, three speakers and Wi-Fi alone for Internet access. A matching Via Phone will have a four-inch display, a back five-megapixel camera and its own front camera.

Most hardware details weren't given out, but the company promised a 'blessed' version of Android with support for the Market. As is often the case with Vizio launches, neither will ship until sometime this summer and thus hint that at least the tablet will use Honeycomb (Android 2.4) or later. One carrier has been lined up for the Via Phone but hasn't been identified.

Vizio is likely to show the early hardware at CES and should be accompanied by its usual TV-related news, which should focus heavily on 3D sets that could run as low as $300 for the smallest models.

The company's entrance into the mobile field reflects a large amount of the bandwagon mentality expected at CES this year, where at least 40 and as many as 80 tablets could show. Most will use Android and will have been designed only after the iPad was unveiled at the start of last year. Vizio is likely counting on its reach in electronics stores and its reputation for cheap but feature-laden TVs to drive business. [via WSJ]


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  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008

    +10

    Everyone...

    and their grandma are making Android based junk. Fragmentation will be peaking in 2011...

  1. facebook_Gary

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2011

    +6

    Not this _____ again

    When will folks realize that it's not hardware that sells tablets, but the combo of software and hardware. Own both and you stand out from the "me too's". H/Palm and RIM have fighting chances (against Apple) because of this.

  1. WalterC

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008

    0

    Very Interesting

    Vizio products and the resultant market pricing have positively benefitted consumers in the big-screen LCD & LED panels. Let's hope the same be true in the tablet & smart-phone arenas.

  1. MyRightEye

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    +3

    40???

    80????????

    Talk about handing the market to Apple!!!

  1. jpellino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +1

    Feh

    Played with the Viewsonic Android tablet they sell at Office Depot.
    Dog slow.
    Cute apps, but noting that would lead me away from an iPad.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004

    0

    wi-fi only is fine

    because I'll just use my phone as a phone, and my tablet as a tablet, and never the two shall meet.

    I certainly won't pay for a 3g subscription to a tablet - it can piggy back off the phone's wifi hotspot.

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010

    +5

    The hardware is just an empty frame.

    The hardware is the easy part. That's why all the hardware manufacturers are copying iPad. Because every 2nd-level engineering manager at Vizio and HP etc. is thinking "We can build a cheaper version of the iPad. Easy." Touchscreen + battery + CPU = cheap iPad knockoff. It might fool a few people. For a short time.

    The killer tactic is the OS. Developing a software platform is hard, it takes a long time to develop and polish, and unfortunately for the Vizios of the world, it's the major component of the "User Experience." Very few tech companies have a chance at succeeding in developing a good or great mobile OS. Apple has been there, done that, gotten the t-shirt. Android may eventually get there, if the Oracle lawsuit magically disappears. Microsoft? Doubtful. RIM? It will take 2 years at the very minimum to develop QNX and PlayBook simultaneously into a usable device.

    The killer strategy is the infrastructure. That's even harder, and it takes an even longer time than massaging a mobile OS and a hardware device together. The infrastructure has to work across multiple OSes and hardware devices. For many generations of OSes and devices. Apple has been working on iTunes, iTunes Store, and App Store since 2001. Before the original iPod was released. And that's how far behind all the wannabes are. Nearly 10 years.

    So the next time you hear any hater say "Apple just sells shinier devices," laugh for a moment and remember that it's Apple's software that transformed Apple beyond the legacy desktop and laptop computer markets into a world-wide technology trend setter. The haters are hoping you won't.

  1. samirsshah

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2010

    +1

    It is good

    at least for India, where we have a very very very price sensitive market. With lot of competition prices will go down and features will go up. India is so price sensitive that people may go through some (sometimes a lot of) inconvenience to save a few rupees.

    With desktops, no one I know has a legal version of Windows. They invariably go into downloading some software which detects that the Windows is illegal and puts the banner on the screen and with that a lot of inconvenience. Still, they would not buy retail Windows. Why, because it is too costly.

    In such an environment where Apple is priced at Rs. 30,000 and above. Who will buy Apple?

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