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BT to launch touchscreen iPad rival

Apple iPad
Can BT really launch a rival to the iPad?

Is BT really about to take on Apple? The Telegraph reports that an iPad-esque prototype device was demonstrated at BT's yearly strategy day in London yesterday.

Details are sketchy, but The Telegraph suggests it will be a touch smaller than the iPad and use a Bluetooth headset to make and receive calls. It will also be able to send and receive texts.

The news comes as it emerges O2 will offer customers the Dell Mini 5 tablet - formerly known as Streak. It runs Android.

Most interesting about the BT news is who might be building such a tablet device for the company – will it simply be a rebranded version of an existing or imminent tablet, or completely new hardware? We'd bet the former.

The company's chief executive Ian Livingston said the new device was a cross between a PC and the "telephone of the future."

He also suggested the device could have applications, though we'd warrant that these will be more like the web shortcuts found on the JooJoo than bespoke iPad-alike apps.

As we reported yesterday, BT also said during the strategy day that it would be launching the OnLive gaming service in the UK.