Huawei to launch iPad-style tablet in Australia

The Huawei S7 tablet has a 7in touchscreen display and runs the 2.1 version of Google's Android operating system

Chinese networking and telecommunications company Huawei will launch a Google Android–powered tablet in Australia by the end of 2010. The company claims the tablet's low price point will make it an appealing alternative to Apple's iPad.

The Huawei S7 tablet has a 7in touchscreen display, runs the 2.1 version of Google's Android operating system and doubles as a smartphone. Huawei confirmed the S7 will be upgradeable to the latest 2.2 version of Android, though didn't offer a timeframe. Other features of the S7 tablet include 720p HD video playback, a flip-out stand, a built-in 3.2megapixel camera that can be used for video calls and a scroll wheel.

As it's a Google Android device, the Huawei S7 tablet will have access to more than 70,000 third-party applications in the Android Market. Unlike the iPad, the S7 uses a resistive touchscreen display — this means you can use your fingernails or a stylus to make a selection, but resistive screens generally aren't as responsive as a capacitive display.

Speaking at the company's official Australian launch, Global Director of Strategy and Marketing, Victor Xu, said the S7 tablet follows the company's "Smart Device, Simple World" strategy. "Huawei is committed to bringing quality, innovative products that are smart, simple to use and affordable to the Australian market."

Australian pricing and a release date for the Huawei S7 are yet to be revealed, but the company is currently in talks with operators and expects to release the tablet through a carrier "before the end of 2010." Dell has already announced its intentions to bring its Streak Android tablet to Australia, but has not revealed a potential release date.

The Huawei S7 tablet isn't an 850MHz device, so it will not support Telstra's Next G network, meaning it will most likely be released through Optus, or VHA (Vodafone Hutchison Australia).

Huawei also showed off a number of other devices at today's media event, including mobile broadband products, smartphones, wireless modems and home phones that synchronise with a range of other devices. A selection of these products will be launched in Australia in the coming months.

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Ross Catanzariti

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