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Motorola Planning a Tablet Device for Early 2011, Jha Says

Motorola Inc., maker of the Droid smartphone, is aiming to introduce a tablet device early next year to challenge Apple Inc.’s iPad, said Co-Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Jha.

“Just as Droid was competitive I think with iPhone, we want to make sure that any tablet that we deliver is competitive in the marketplace,” Jha said yesterday at a technology conference hosted by Deutsche Bank AG in San Francisco. “We will only deliver that when that occurs. Hopefully that’s early next year.”

Motorola, which is rebuilding its handset business around Google Inc.’s Android software, is planning an Android tablet similar in dimension to Apple’s 10-inch (25-centimeter) iPad, two people familiar with the company’s plans said in August. The Schaumburg, Illinois-based company will be chasing Apple as well as Hewlett-Packard Co., Lenovo Group Ltd. and LG Electronics Inc., which have all said they are developing tablet computers.

Motorola’s device will feature television services and be marketed with Verizon Communications Inc., one of the people said last month.

Apple said in June that it sold 3 million of its iPad tablet computers in the 80 days since they debuted in the U.S, signaling demand for a device that straddles the divide between smartphones and notebook computers.

Motorola fell 1 cent to $8.35 at 12:40 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange Composite trading. The stock had climbed 7.7 percent this year through yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hugo Miller in Toronto at hugomiller@bloomberg.net

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