According to the WSJ ViewSonic will have three new tablets to show off at CES 2011.The device, which hasn’t been named yet, is supposed to be a 4-inch touchscreen display and it will run Android.The hybrid machine will also connect to next-generation telecommunications networks, known as 4G, one of the people said. Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) and Verizon Wireless currently operate 4G networks in the U.S. Verizon Wireless is a unit of Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group PLC (VOD, VOD.LN).
The ViewSonic tablet/phone hybrid device is also supposed to have support for 4G networks but it’s unclear which ones this will involve. Verizon will be pushing its 4G LTE network with multiple devices at the CES show.
ViewSonic, which already sells a seven-inch tablet computer called ViewPad 7, isn’t the first company to meld a mobile phone and tablet computer in hopes of capturing consumers reluctant to carry more than one device. Earlier this year, Dell launched a five-inch hybrid called the Streak. Dell officials have made optimistic comments about the device’s sales performance, but haven’t released concrete data.
In addition to the ViewPad 7, ViewSonic has also announced a 10-inch tablet computer that is expected to hit stores within the next three months. The device will be capable of running Microsoft Corp.’s (MSFT) Windows operating system, as well as Android, which could help to draw business customers.