Copycats seek to cash in on iPad fever

21:04, May 28, 2010      

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On display are tablet devices from several Chinese firms. Apple has not yet officially launched the iPad in China. (Photo: China Daily)
The war over the tablet computer market has already begun in China, although US tech giant Apple Inc has yet to release its iPad in the country.

Regardless of that fact, Chinese manufacturers are pumping out dozens of clone models of Apple's latest icon into the market in an effort to appease the country's growing appetite for mobile computers.

Zhang Naiyun, president of Mastone Communication &Electrical Development, a domestic cellphone maker, said on Thursday that it expect to sell 500,000 of its latest tablet computers, called the LifePad, in China in the next 12 months.

The company on Thursday teamed up with China Telecom to launch the device, which would run on the carrier's 3G network.

"We are a Chinese company so we can make the best tablet computers for consumers here," said Zhang. She said the company also plans to launch an online application store that contains most of the popular Chinese applications.

First developed two years ago, Mastone's tablet computer is based on the Android platform and comes preinstalled with applications such as navigation and handwriting recognition technology. The product, targeting business users, will be sold at 4,980 yuan ($729), according to the company.

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