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Google prepping its own Android tablet?

updated 10:30 am EDT, Mon April 12, 2010

Google, HP may square off against iPad too

Google is in the midst of crafting its own tablet to take on the iPad, a leak late Sunday may have revealed. CEO Eric Schmidt at a recent Los Angeles party purportedly told those gathered that the company is working on an Android tablet. Most of its details weren't mentioned, but it would be both an e-reader and a general computing device. The NYT heard that Google is talking with "a few publishers" for licensing books and periodicals.

It's not known whether or not Google is developing the tablet directly, but its arrangement with HTC for the Nexus One makes it more likely that the hardware is a collaboration with an existing hardware designer than a completely original invention.

Any tablet launch would be controversial for Google, as it would not only stoke the heated battle with Apple even further but risk alienating the company's hardware partners. While the Nexus One hasn't significantly jeopardized Google's relationships due to the large size of the Android ecosystem and the limited sales reach, a tablet would come into a considerably smaller market and could undermine the development of startups like ICD and Notion Ink.

Alongside the Google tablet, the newspaper has also claimed that HP doesn't trust its Windows 7 slate entirely and is making a six-inch Android tablet, nicknamed the "half pint." It's simultaneously alleged that the Microsoft Courier dual-screen tablet might not ship until early 2011.

Credence has also been given to talk of a Nokia tablet, but this may be an e-reader first with apps a secondary priority. Company chief Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo didn't confirm the tablet when asked but admitted that the Booklet 3G has been successful enough to continue research on "converged" devices. A Nokia tablet is more likely to use the Linux-based MeeGo than a regular mobile OS.

by MacNN Staff



  1. dpicardi

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Competition is good...

    And I'm sure that anything that Google gets behind will be well featured.

    That said. I don't know why anyone would buy an iPhone and then an Android Tablet. You'd have to learn two distinct OSes and Ecosystems AND you'd be paying double for far more apps than you would if you had an iPhone and iPad. (and vice versa)

    Overall I think this is good news for consumers as Apple never likes being second best...and this will keep the creative lights on even longer than usual.

    Apple is at least 6 to 9 months ahead of the tablet market...which is huge in this day and age.

    Bring on the killer apps!

  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Microsoft wannabe?!

    Has Google acquired the tactics of Redmond in watching Apple (or whomever) create popular new products and services, to then create their own copy...thusly expecting the fact that it says "Google" on the side, consumers will buy it?!!

    Ask Microsoft how mediocrity is working for them? Take away Office and Windows (25+ yr old products), and that company sunk 5 years ago!!


  1. t0mat0

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Vapourware till it gets a release date

    In the midst....Uhuh.
    No doubt ANdroid tablets will come, but we're looking forward to a release date proper. The iPad is now on the market. Any iPad killers need to be actually available for sale, no? And will all the 3rd party vendors get similar Android for Tablet OS versions? Or will we see the splintering seen in the andoird phone market?

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I think it's pretty clear where this leaves ChromeOS, which would have been Google's choice for a tablet-type device if they had any faith in it whatsoever. Obviously, Android OS is the right choice over ChromeOS, as the need to leverage local media playback and being able to run native apps are extremely valuable to users. It just seems like ChromeOS is going to fade into obscurity, simply because it was about five years too soon for it.

  1. c4rlob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Eric Schmidt at a party in LA?

    That's the give away right there how bogus this rumor is! Schmidt being at a party in LA is as likely as Schmidt and jobs dancing together at a party in LA.

  1. joecab

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not so much a copycat

    It seemed pretty obvious after Google Chrome's release that a tablet was coming out from them at some point, so I wouldn't call them that much of an Apple copycat here.

    I still can't see Microsoft being much of a tablet competitor: it's obvious that for a tablet to work well you really need to escape the desktop metaphor, and I'll bet Google will. MS and its biggest fans are too wedded to what they're used to to really let go: look at how HP crows about their upcoming tablet being "the whole internet" (hint hint, it runs Win 7 apps and it's got Flash). With Win Mobile dying off they're more desperate to hold onto that existing market so more open to radical change, but I just can't see it extending to tablets. As to why a device manufacturer would want to use their new and unproven mobile OS and pay the licensing fees involved rather than Android which already has a 2+ year headstart ... well they're going to have to prove their case pretty damn hard.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: ChromeOS

    This says nothing about the ChromeOS. First, this is a rumor of some supposed talk from a CEO.

    Second, would it be better to try to shoehorn the ChromeOS onto a tablet just to give it legs? If it isn't the correct OS for the job, using it would be a far bigger mistake.

    Doesn't everyone say that MS will never make it in the tablet world because they keep sticking their desktop OS onto the device, and it's the wrong tool for the job? Same thing.

    Of course, I'm sure if he said they were running ChromeOS on it, someone would deem it the deathknell of Android...

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Re: ChromeOS

    Of course Google made the right decision. My point, though, is that if ChromeOS can't even find a market with internet tablets, then it's looking like it has no market whatsoever. It's a victim of bad timing.

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