BT To Debut iPad Tablet Rival That Can Make Calls

Ian Livingston, the CEO of BT, has announced in an interview that the telecommunications giant will be releasing a tablet PC that can apparently make and receive phone calls.

The Telegraph reports that the device will come with a touchscreen display which will be smaller than the 9.7-inch screen of Apple's iPad. Users will be able to make calls using a Bluetooth handset or the built-in speaker/microphone.

The unnamed device - which was presented at BT's annual strategy day - will also have email, web browsing and text messaging capabilities.

Ian Livingston says that the tablet will be a cross between a PC and the phone of the future and it seems that it will have apps to display news, weather

BT's CEO hinted that the device, which he denied would be an iPad killer, will be used in the kitchen or the lounge and would be the equivalent of a virtual family whiteboard.

The tablet, which will be launched later this year, will be offered as a package - possibly complementing BT Vision and BT's existing router - and also on its own.

This reminds us of the Audrey from 3Com, now part of HP. Audrey was a tablet PC launched nearly 10 years ago and at that time, was coined as an Internet appliance that could also synchronise with Palm devices (now owned by HP).