Mobile phone giant Motorola is looking at launching its tablet computer early next year, as the firm hopes to expand its product line beyond cell phones. “We want to make sure that any tablet that we deliver is competitive in the marketplace, and I think all of us will make sure that we will only deliver (computer) that when that occurs,” Motorola's India-born Co-Chief Executive Sanjay Jha said. “Hopefully, that's early next year. The tablet would be Motorola's answer to Apple's iPad, which has dominated the market since its launch in April this year,” added Jha. Apple said in June that it has sold three million of its iPad tablets.

Jha has tried to turn around Motorola's troubled cell phone business by refocusing it on smart phones powered by Google Inc's Android operating system, the Wall Street Journal said. “Google has made clear it doesn't think the latest version of Android, called Froyo, is appropriate for tablet devices,” the paper quoted Jha as saying in a conference call. The report added that Jha has said he would not roll out a tablet until the technology is ready. “I will only develop a tablet if it is sufficiently compelling,” he added. Jha further said he is eager to get into the tablet business, but indicated that he is thinking about new forms of mobile computing. He is also interested in models that are “even more smartphone-centric. Other phone makers have also been lining up their tablet computers to take on the iPad.”

Samsung Electronics unveiled its seven-inch Galaxy Tab in the US market today, while Dell too launched a five-inch tablet.

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