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Cisco plans tablet device next year to rival iPad

07-02-2010 09:01 BJT

BEIJING, July 1 (Xinhuanet) -- Thanks to Apple Inc's iPad, tablet computers are finally a hot consumer item, after many false starts. Cisco Systems Inc said it aims to take the tablet computer into the business world with its own device, to launch early next year.

Apple launched the iPad tablet computer in March but Cisco, the world's largest maker of networking equipment, said its own tablet, the Cius, has been in the works for a year and a half.

The Cius will have a 7-inch screen, making it smaller and lighter than the iPad. While the iPad has no camera, the Cius will have two, facing both toward and away from the user. Video-conferencing on the go will be a major focus of the product, according to Barry O'Sullivan, senior vice president of Cisco's Voice Technology Group.

The Cius will run Google Inc's Android software, which is popular in smartphones that compete with Apple's iPhone. Android phones haven't been embraced by corporations, which usually prefer the security offered by Research In Motion Ltd's BlackBerrys, but O'Sullivan said Cisco's goal was to make the Cius as "IT friendly" as possible, giving information technology departments wide control over applications.

The tablet will come with the ability to connect to Wi-Fi hot spots and cell broadband networks. Cisco is in talks with six global phone companies to provide services.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Shanghai Daily

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