Cisco Plans Larger Cius Tablet Device

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Cisco is reportedly developing a larger version of its Cius tablet geared towards enterprise use

It may surprise some that networking giant Cisco Systems has its own tablet, and is now reportedly in the process of producing a larger version of the business focused Cius device.

Indeed it could be argued that the Cius tablet is actually the forgotten man in the tablet space. Cisco actually unveiled the Android-based tablet, which was designed as a mobile communications and collaboration platform for businesses, way back in June 2010.

Cius Reminder

Since then it has been quietly working on it, despite the painful strategic changes at Cisco that have seen consumer facing products, such as its Flip camera division, closed down. In January this year for example it produced a 4G version of the 7 inch tablet, capable of running on LTE networks.

And in the summer Cisco entered the crowded apps market after it introduced its own apps ecosystem for its Cius tablet. Cisco’s own business app store, AppHQ,  is designed for IT pros seeking to create, manage and deploy tablet applications within their enterprise. Of course the Cius tablet also works with Android Market. Meanwhile companies such as Sybase and Lexmark have already developed business apps for the tablet.

Despite all these developments, the 7-inch Wi-Fi Cius was only officially released to the global market in July this year. The Cius currently runs Android 2.2 and is priced at $725 (£462).

New Models

And now it seems that Cisco is developing both a larger and smaller version of this tablet. This is according to Chuck Fontana, director of Cius product management at Cisco. He was quoted as saying by Tab Times that Cisco will add to the 7-inch Cius, with a new, larger model in the spring of next year.

“We’re still working through the details of the exact form factor, but that work is under way,”  Fontana reportedly said. Apparently consumer – sorry, business – demand will dictate what size will be shipped, although Fontana that Cisco is researching both a 10-inch and 11-inch version.

He also reportedly revealed that Cisco is looking to introduce devices with 3.5-inch to 5-inch screens.

Unlike consumer-focused tablets, the Cius is geared up towards working with Cisco’s TelePresence video conferencing collaboration and virtual desktop tools. It also works with WebEx tools and the collaboration tool Quad.

Fontana also reportedly said that Cisco is working with Intel to upgrade to Cius to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), and all new tablets will run that operating system in future.

eWEEK Europe contacted Cisco UK for confirmation, but they did not respond at the time of writing.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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