Vizio to unveil Android phone and tablet next week

January 2, 2011: 11:36 PM ET

The new products would put the leading HDTV maker in the Android camp.

Vizio was already planning to introduce a GoogleTV at CES this week.  Now it appears they have some other Google (GOOG) products on order.  The WSJ reports that they plan on revealing a 4-inch cell phone and an 8-inch tablet.

The Irvine, Calif., company said its first mobile phone, to be called Via Phone, will have a 4-inch screen, a front-facing camera for video calls, a rear-facing five megapixel camera and the capability to shoot video. The larger mobile device, the Via Tablet, will have an 8-inch, high-resolution screen; WiFi wireless connectivity; three speakers; and a front-facing camera for video conferencing. Both items will be introduced this summer and run Google Inc.'s Android operating system, providing access to the application store associated with the popular operating system, Vizio said.

The company, which still hasn't hired its 200th employee, is a huge player in the HDTV realm offering low prices on high quality displays.  I expect Vizio to do the same with their smartphones and tablets.

Vizio tablet via WSJ

This is an area that Dell (DELL) should have owned by now in the Android space. A few years ago, Dell was known for producing high quality computers and displays for prices that beat everyone else. Their Streak tablet is a nice piece of hardware but it is still being upgraded to a modern version of Android.  Their Aero phone on AT&T (T) is a miss for the same reason.

Expect the 4-inch phone to be free (after rebates and such) on a plan while the tablet is a few hundred dollars more.

Vizio gave a sneak peak of its tablet during the Rose Bowl, below:

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Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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