In pictures: Orange launches own-brand budget tablet computer … but not for UK customers

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Orange today announced that it’s getting in on the tablet act with its very own branded Android slate. However, those in the UK hoping to get their hands on the budget device look set to be disappointed.

Specs for the 7-inch Android 2.1 device remain vague, aside from it having a capacitive display, a memory card slot, front and rear cameras, and 3G connectivity.

What does seem clear is that Orange are pitching it as a cheap and cheerful alternative in their tablet line-up beneath the Apple iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab, with the device coming with a budget-friendly data package.

Sadly it seems the UK won’t be joining in the fun, with the release currently restricted to just Spain, Poland, Slovakia and Romania. There are a number of reasons why the phone group has chosen to narrow its launch area to so few countries – starting with a potential desire to test the waters for the Android 2.1 tablet. Even at a lower price, it may or may not hold up against competition from Android 3.0 devices.

Orange already offers the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab to UK customers, meaning this own-branded tablet would slot in as the budget option. Yves Maitre of Orange’s Group Devices & Mobile Multimedia division was vague in his comments:

‘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. By providing the widest choice of seven and ten inch touchscreen tablets, Orange is providing new ways to access the content and services our customers want. We will continue to expand our tablet and smartphone portfolio throughout 2011.’

Orange has not declared the price, other than saying it will be ‘competitive’. It seems we will have to wait and see how the tablet fares in its four chosen launch markets, before we can expect news on whether we will see it launched in the UK.

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