Following Microsoft's announcement of the new Surface tablet, LG Electronics said it has decided to put its new tablet development on hold in order to focus on smartphones.

LG spokesman Ken Hong, in an email to the Bloomberg news service Monday, wrote, "We've decided to put all new tablet development on the back burner for the time being in order to focus on smartphones."

Hong also told Bloomberg that "LG doesn't see Surface competing with anything we're focusing on at the moment, Hong said.

LG makes the Optimus Pad on the T-Mobile USA network, a dual-core Android Honeycomb tablet. It also announced the Optimus Pad LTE, which has not yet shipped. The Optimus Pad, also called the G-Slate, was originally priced at $529, but was later dropped to $399. The iPad starts at $499.

LG is considered a small player in tablets, with Samsung the largest Android tablet maker. The Apple iPad dominates the market with a more than 60% share.

There are dozens of tablet models on the market, and analysts have long predicted consolidation, even as Microsoft is entering the market for the first time with its Surface tablets.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is [email protected].

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