LG Electronics Inc., the world's third-largest mobile phone maker, said Wednesday that it will release its first tablet PC in March in the U.S. market, as it tries to take its share in the booming market.
The upcoming product, dubbed "G-slate," is among the first tablet models to run on the "Honeycomb" operating system, which is Google Inc.'s latest generation of Android platforms designed for mobile devices with large screens.
The G-slate will be released in March through T-Mobile USA, the fourth-largest carrier in the U.S. and a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG, according to LG's statement.
LG Electronics, which is also the world's second-biggest TV supplier after local rival Samsung Electronics Co., has been struggling in the mobile business after it failed to respond to the smartphone boom with a viable competitor to Apple Inc.'s iPhone or Samsung's Galaxy S. Its mobile-phone division posted a three-straight quarterly loss in the October-December period.
The company is counting on new high-end smartphones from its Optimus series and tablet PCs to revive its mobile phone unit, as the lucrative market is expected to mushroom this year. Gartner Inc. estimates the tablet market to surge to 54.8 million units this year, from 19.5 million in 2010.
The G-slate features an 8.9-inch screen, smaller than Apple's iPad but larger than the 7-inch screen of Samsung's Galaxy Tab. It is powered by NVIDIA Corp.'s dual-core processor.
Meanwhile, the company said that its tablet PC model for the global market, named the Optimus Pad, will be first disclosed later this month during the Mobile World Congress show in Spain.