LG to Sideline Tablet Development to Focus on Smaller Devices

LG Electronics Inc., the world’s No. 4 mobile-phone maker, will sideline tablet computer development to focus more on smaller devices rather than compete head-on with Apple Inc.’s iPad.

“We’ve decided to put all new tablet development on the back burner for the time being in order to focus on smartphones,” Ken Hong, a spokesman for Seoul-based LG, said in an e-mailed response to queries.

LG introduced its second tablet named Optimus Pad LTE earlier this year as rivals including Samsung Electronics Inc., maker of Galaxy tablets and smartphones, sought to challenge the iPad. Microsoft Corp. unveiled a Windows-powered tablet called Surface yesterday, entering an Apple-dominated market projected to grow to $78.7 billion this year, according to an estimate by research firm DisplaySearch.

“LG doesn’t see Surface competing with anything we’re focusing on at the moment,” Hong said.

The electronics maker is trying to turn around its mobile-phone business with its Optimus line of Android-powered smartphones after being overtaken by Apple as the No. 3 handset maker last year. LG, which also makes Windows-based PCs, is still open to making phones using Microsoft software, Hong said.