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]