LG Shelves Tablets to Focus on Smartphones

How will manufacturers feel about competing directly against Microsoft in the hardware space? That's a question we and many other analysts asked when rumors of a Microsoft-branded tablet began swirling around the Net. Well, the Microsoft Surface tablet is here -- not on store shelves, but as a concept, at least -- and one manufacturer isn't worried about competing with Microsoft at all. That's because LG has decided to drop out of the tablet market completely.

“We’ve decided to put all new tablet development on the back burner for the time being in order to focus on smartphones,” LG spokesman Ken Hong told Bloomberg via email.

"LG doesn’t see Surface competing with anything we’re focusing on at the moment," he went on, presumably because Microsoft Surface is a tablet and he'd just said that LG is putting all of its attention on smartphones.

Doubling down on smartphones is a sensible move for LG, which is currently the fourth largest handset maker in the world after conceding its third-place slot to Apple earlier this year. The company's previous tablet offering, the LG Optimus Pad, didn't exactly set the world on fire even after receiving an update that added an LTE radio and improved processor to the mix. On the other hand, LG's phones created quite a buzz at the Mobile World Conference in February, most notably the LG Optimus 4X HD, the world's first smartphone with a quad-core processor.

Meanwhile, big fish like Amazon, ASUS, Samsung and now Microsoft are just some of the very big fish swimming around in the crowded tablet pond -- a pond that's even smaller when you remember that Apple's iPad holds roughly 60 percent of the market.