Mobile operator Orange launched Tuesday a tablet computer under its own brand in four European countries as a cheaper alternative to Apple's iPad.
Boasting a seven-inch (16.8 centimetres) screen and running Google's Android operating system with 3G mobile connectivity, the "Orange Tablet offers portable, touch screen computing at a competitive price," the company said.
The number three European mobile operator, owned by France Telecom, announced the launch at the mobile phone industry's annual gathering in Barcelona, with the Orange Tablet going on sale in Spain, Romania, Poland and Slovakia.
Manufactured by the Chinese company Huawei, the Orange Tablet will be offered as an entry-level model compared to the more expensive Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab, which the operator also offers customers.
"Tablet computing is an extremely popular and growing segment of the consumer technology market and we want to offer our customers the best possible choice of device to suit all budgets and requirements," said Yves Maitre, Orange's senior vice president for mobile devices and multimedia.
Each of the four markets has specific tariffs and bundles for the Orange Tablet, with the acquisition cost subsidised to as low as one euro depending on the duration of the service contract.
The four countries were chosen as their lower consumer purchasing power was slowing the adoption of iPads and Galaxy Tabs, said Anne Bouverot, director of mobile services and devices at France Telecom Orange.
Orange said it is considering introducing the Orange Tablet in other markets as well.
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