Vizio Extends Battle Plan

Vizio Inc., which put inexpensive flat-panel TVs in living rooms, now is setting its sights on cellphones and tablet computers.
Vizio, which has vied with Samsung Electronics Co. for leadership in U.S. sales of television sets, plans Monday in advance of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to discuss its new mobile products. The company so far has been known for LCD TV sets, Blu-ray disc players and related accessories, and success with its new devices could put pressure on its rivals’ earnings.

The Irvine, Calif., company said its first mobile phone, to be called Via Phone, will have a four-inch screen, a front-facing camera for video calls, a rear-facing five megapixel camera and the capability to shoot video. The larger mobile device, the Via Tablet, will have an eight-inch, high-resolution screen; WiFi wireless connectivity; three speakers; and a front-facing camera for video conferencing. Both items will be introduced this summer and run Google Inc.’s Android operating system, providing access to the application store associated with the popular operating system, Vizio said.

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