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Google's own tablet may aim at Kindle Fire, not iPad

updated 10:15 pm EST, Wed January 4, 2012

Google 'Nexus' tablet may be seven-inch

A contentious rumor late Wednesday had Google's self-made tablet focusing on a very different segment of the market. Part suppliers alleged to Digitimes that the Android 4.0 device would compete with the Kindle Fire, not the iPad. Accordingly, they suspected it would have a seven-inch screen but cost $199 or less when it shipped in March or April.

When asked, Google Taiwan said it hadn't heard of such a strategy, although this didn't equate to a direct denial.

Numerous issues exist with the rumor. Android 4.0 can run on hardware similar to the Kindle Fire, but Google usually opts for above-average components and would contradict its own statements. If chairman Eric Schmidt's remarks are to be believed, Google would want a device with the "highest quality." At $199, Amazon is already selling at a loss and would mean Google was either using even cheaper parts or subsidizing its hardware.

The timing wouldn't quite line up with Google's own hardware habits. It regularly gives away new hardware to those who have the chance to attend Google I/O, which this year has been moved to June. Schmidt had said the tablet would arrive within half a year, or closer to the Google I/O window.

Even if the specific rumor is false, a Google tablet is seen as increasingly probable given circumstances. The pressure to have a new device at Google I/O may be part of the equation. More likely, though, is the more established nature of Android tablets and their gradual move away from completely stock Android to their own customizations. Google has almost always wanted at least one reference Android device and may want a tablet counterpart to the Galaxy Nexus.

Targeting the Kindle Fire could even raise the possibility of jealousy at Google. Amazon's ability to create a popular but almost completely distinct variant of Android could create a permanent fork in Android that sees developers having to separately support Amazon and everyone else.

by MacNN Staff



  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Can't they think of anything...

    ...else but chasing Apple's R+D...?

  1. global.philosopher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Can't they think of anything....


  1. Greengo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Google worried?

    Amazon doesn't advertise that the Kindle Fire runs on their own, highly modified version of Android and tied the Fire to it's Amazon App Store. Android Market Apps aren't compatible including Google Apps with Most/all apps there needing to be repurchased for the Fire.
    So whether you feel the Fire is an iPad competitor or not, it is definitely a Google Android competitor...strange I know, but Amazon is cutting Google completely out of it, so Google needs to compete against it....makes sense I guess.

  1. chippie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Google Is Being Forced Into The

    hardware business if only to save it's business model which is dependent on access to devices running Android. If Amazon is successful, What is to stop others trying to emulate?

  1. DerekMorr

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Talk about a hit-piece. There wasn't a single fact in this "article." It was pure speculation.

  1. freddymac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hey chippie,

    How are you today? Does your mommy know you are on the computer again? Shame on you. Be a good little pathetic troll and get back to your room. You don't want mommy to get mad at you again. It's too bad you can't be a real human-being and play nice with the rest of the world. Maybe then you could get out from underneath that slimy rock in your mommy's basement. Best of luck to you buddy.

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