Vizio Challenges Apple with Affordable Smartphone and Tablet

Vizio Inc., the second-largest U.S. television supplier, will launch a low-priced Android phone and tablet that will be aimed directly at those who can’t afford Apple products.

The smartphone with a 4-inch screen and tablet with an 8- inch display will be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which begins Jan. 6, Chief Technology Officer Matthew McRae said in an interview last week. Irvine, California-based Vizio will also showcase TVs and Blu-ray players that use Google TV software, he said.

Vizio is thinking bigger than just creating iPhone and iPad knock-offs. The goal is to create a unified experience and ecosystem around these Android-based devices. Something that is absolutely necessary to truly compete with Apple.

“We’re going to make sure all this stuff works well together,” he said. “You’ll see a nearly identical interface on the phone, tablet, TVs and Blu-ray players, hooked to the same application store.”

McRae says “there is a huge gap in the market for people who can’t afford the iPad or whatever else.” Both devices will be sold at WalMart and Costco, with a carrier being announced for the smartphone closer to the summer.

via Bloomberg