US TV AND DISPLAY MAKER Vizio thinks that more people will be interested in tablets and smartphones if they are offered at more reasonable prices.
Currently the market is full of those trying to copy Apple's high mark-up models, but Vizio thinks that there is cash to be made at the lower end of the market where people have more sense than money rather than the other way around.
Talking to Bloomberg, Vizio's CTO Matthew McRae said the outfit will show off an Android smartphone with a four-inch screen and a tablet with an eight-inch display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which begins in three days.
Vizio has had a similar strategy with its cut-rate flat-screen televisions and intends to make its smartphone and tablet "very aggressively priced".
He confirmed that there is a huge gap in the market for people who can't afford the high prices of the Iphone and Ipad.
Vizio's tablet and smartphone will be sold at Wal-Mart and Costco stores and a mobile network carrier for the devices will be announced closer to their summer debut, McRae said.
Vizio is second only to Samsung in the US and is customising its Internet applications platform by combining the interface with Google's Android software on the tablet, smartphone and new TVs.
The Vizio tablet and smartphone will be able to be used as remote-controls for other devices. Both will have access to a Vizio "On Demand" movie service, which will let consumers buy and rent movies.
It will be interesting to see whether, when tablet prices come down, people will become more interested in them and will finally find some uses for keyboardless netbooks. µ
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