Best Buy Insignia Flex to compete against iPad, Kindle

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Best Buy Co., the world's largest electronics retailer, will introduce a tablet computer to compete against Inc.'s Kindle and Apple Inc.'s iPad.

The Insignia Flex, which uses Google Inc.'s Android operating system, will go on sale in Best Buy stores Nov. 11, the Richfield, Minnesota-based retailer said. The tablet will have a 9.7-inch screen and cost about $250, according to the company.

The announcement comes as Microsoft introduces its Surface tablet, set to be released on Oct. 26. The Surface, Microsoft's first branded tablet device, starts at $499.

Apple is expected to unveil a smaller, less expensive version of the iPad on Oct. 23, when an announcement is planned at the company's Cupertino, Calif. headquarters. The new model will be Apple's first expansion of the iPad product line since the device was introduced by co-founder Steve Jobs in 2010.

Best Buy's foray into the tablet market comes as Apple, Microsoft, Inc. and Google Inc. try to wrest away a piece of the tablet market, which is projected by NPD DisplaySearch to more than double to $162 billion by 2017. Apple controls about 70 percent of the market.

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