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Monday, 18 July 2011

Can Vizio Challenge Apple With A Gingerbread Smartphone?

Dominating companies tend to be underdogs at first and are usually underestimated by rivals. That was the case with success stories such as Microsoft, Google or Apple. Vizio may be the next IT and entertainment giant on the horizon: Building on its TV empire, Vizio announced a smartphone and a tablet to enable a cross-platform entertainment and communication experience. Apple, watch out. Click to see the Vizio Phone slideshow here.
Vizio Via Plus Tablet and smartphone
Vizio Via Plus Tablet and smartphone
Where others have failed, Vizio has done many things right. Once a discount LCD TV manufacturer, Vizio is now an accepting brand that is moving into the premium space and has become the leading LCD maker in the U.S. The announcement of a tablet and a smartphone may not be conclusive at first sight, but they fit seamlessly in a product portfolio that includes entry level TVs, connected TVs, 3D TVs, network routers and Blu-ray players.
The smartphone uses Google’s Gingerbread Android operating system, includes a 4″ screen, two cameras, a 5 MP camera and the usual other goodies of a modern smartphone. The tablet comes with an 8″ capacitive touchscreen and two cameras. Both products aim for the higher end of the market and will go head to head with HTC, Samsung and Motorola in the Smartphone space as well as Samsung and RIM in the tablet arena.
Most importantly, Vizio appears to be building an entertainment and communication ecosystem that positions not only against Samsung in the smartphone space, but squarely against Apple as well. Vizio may lack the hardcore computing component in its portfolio, but a high quality tablet may erase that concern in the consumer space and help make the (computer) tablet much more a commodity product than we have seen before. It is the first time in several years that a pure-play consumer electronics company moves into the computer space – and positions the computer as a component of the living room entertainment experience – on one level with the TV. We usually see the computer taking precedence over the TV. At the very least, the computing experience is somewhat separated from the TV experience. This is one thing Apple has done wrong so far and Vizio may get right.
With the help of Android and Google TV, Vizio could be powerful enough to cause more than just a headache for Apple

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