Samsung's tablet temperature - How the mobile industry is responding to the iPad

"While Samsung is aiming to bring a device to market in the second half of this year, we have not yet confirmed the markets for launch or detailed product specifications," Samsung said in a response to questions about the company's tablet plans.

The confirmation--apparently a reaction to an inadvertent posting on the Twitter account of Samsung's South African blog of a tablet gadget and a brief snippet of information about its specifications--positions Samsung as likely one of the first handset vendors out of the gate with a response to the iPad.

"Samsung definitely has the capability" to engage in tablets, said ABI analyst Jeff Orr. "One could always question the focus."

Forrester analyst Charles Golvin though said Samsung, the world's second largest handset maker, is perhaps the ideal candidate to make a go of tablets.

"What don't they make?" he asked rhetorically, noting Samsung's power in software (the company dabbles in Android, bada, Windows Mobile and Symbian) as well as silicon, electronics components and, of course, consumer goodies like TVs and computers.

"They've got massive scale and can do it efficiently," Golvin said. "For them to not be a player there would not make any sense for them."

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