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LG: Surface? Meh. Tablets now 'on back burner' for us

The Korean electronics company will focus its mobile efforts on smartphones and doesn't plan to worry too much about Microsoft's new Surface tablets.

The quad-core LG Optimus 4X HD.
The quad-core LG Optimus 4X HD. Kent German/CNET

Count LG among those companies that aren't too worried about Surface. But that appears to be because it doesn't plan to focus its efforts on tablets.

Speaking to Bloomberg in an interview published today, LG spokesman Ken Hong said that his company has "decided to put all new tablet development on the back burner for the time being." In its place, Hong says LG will "focus on smartphones."

Hong's comments come just hours after Microsoft unveiled its own tablet, the Surface. That device will launch in two versions -- an Intel-based Windows 8 Pro option and an ARM-based Windows RT model. According to Microsoft, the Windows RT version will launch this fall, and will be followed by the Intel model about 90 days later.

When pressed on how LG might feel about Microsoft jumping into the hardware game, thus putting it in competition with companies it has called partners over the years, Hong said that he doesn't see "Surface competing with anything we're focusing on at the moment."

LG earlier this year unveiled its Optimus Pad LTE tablet. The Android-based slate comes with an 8.9-inch screen and weighs just over one pound. It's also the company's first LTE-based tablet.

A month later, however, LG made it clear that smartphones were its focus at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. At that event, the company showed off a host of devices with high-end specs, including the Optimus 4X HD and Optimus 3D Max. Speaking to CNET, LG's smartphone division head Ramchan Woo said that his company has decided to go back to the basics.

"We lost our focus," Woo said. "We're going back to the fundamentals."

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