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Tablet Makers Bring Rivalry to Japan

AM-AL132_TOSHIB_DV_20101005102849CHIBA, Japan—Toshiba Corp. plans to launch tablet computing devices in the U.S., Japan and elsewhere early next year, a top Toshiba engineer said in an interview.

“The market for tablets is very hot right now,” said Hideo Kasuya, an engineer involved in the development of tablet computers, on the sidelines of the annual Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies, also known as CEATEC, near Tokyo.

Toshiba’s releases will come amid a rush of tablets from rivals around the world, such as Samsung Electronics Co., which announced plans Tuesday to sell its Galaxy Tab device in Japan.

Last month, Toshiba unveiled its Folio 100 tablet at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, saying it will be launched in Europe, the Middle East and Africa by the end of this year.

Mr. Kasuya said in an interview Tuesday that Toshiba is also preparing to release tablets in other parts of the world, including the U.S. and Japan, though the name Folio 100 might not feature among them.

Toshiba, the world’s fifth largest maker of laptop personal computers as of the April-June quarter, according to research firm IDC, aims to become a major player in the rapidly growing tablet market, which has so far been dominated by Apple Inc.’s iPad.

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