BT working on iPad rival?

Tablet device

BT is set to make a splash in the retail sector with its very own tablet device.

According to The Guardian, the telecoms company is working on a touch screen tablet to rival the likes of the iPad.

The head of BT Retail, Gavin Patterson, reportedly showed a prototype device yesterday to a number of city analysts during a company strategy day.

A BT spokesperson confirmed to IT PRO that the company had "an exciting new home device on its way" with further announcements due later in the year but it "[could not] say anything else at this time."

The Guardian report claimed the tablet is smaller than an iPad but has the benefit of being able to be used as a phone, albeit with a Bluetooth headset or on speaker. It will also take Apple's lead by introducing apps onto the device, as well as enabling visual voicemail and text messaging.

Tests of the device have been taking place in Cardiff and broader trials are set to be taking place later this year. The hardware partner building the device was not revealed.

BT recently told IT PRO it was actively seeking to do a deal with Apple to provide Wi-Fi for the iPad through its OpenZone operation.

The company also reported positive results yesterday as, despite a revenue drop of two per cent, the company beat expectations. It also confirmed it was to invest a further 1 billion into its fibre broadband rollout.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.