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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 (opens in new tab) 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).

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.