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LG is giving up on tablets to focus on phones

LG has said it's putting its tablet plans on the back burner so it can pump out more Optimus blowers.

LG is quitting the tablet game, at least for a while. The South Korean company is ditching efforts to compete with Apple's iPad, and instead is going to occupy its time building more phones, Bloomberg reports.

"We've decided to put all new tablet development on the back burner," an LG spokesman said, "in order to focus on smart phones."

LG was one of a great many manufacturers that tried to crack the tablet market following the introduction of Apple's first iPad, releasing the LG Optimus Pad -- a gadget that aimed to stand out from the crowd by shooting 3D video, although it wasn't possible to watch 3D video on the tablet itself.

It didn't make much of a dent, however. LG followed the Pad with an LTE-enabled tablet (unsurprisingly dubbed the Optimus Pad LTE), which I got my mitts on at Mobile World Congress this year. It was an impressively slim tablet at 9.3mm thick, and had an 8-megapixel camera on the back. But the 4G tech inside means we won't be seeing it in the UK.

Much as I'd love to see more compelling Android tablets on sale, this feels like a smart move for LG. Its smart phones are alright -- devices like the Prada Phone are functional and look interesting, while the ludicrous 4:3 Optimus Vu is at least a bit different -- but could use some work if the company wants to compete with Samsung and Apple.

Focusing on doing one thing right can be a clever tactic, and trying to compete in the Apple-dominated tablet world can prove a costly mistake -- something HP and RIM have learned the hard way.

As one company quits tablets, another enters the fray -- last night Microsoft unveiled its own-brand Surface tablet, powered by Windows 8 and rocking a fold-out cover that doubles as a keyboard.

Can Microsoft succeed where other companies have failed? What's the key to taking on the iPad? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.