Google to sell its own tablet, possibly by this summer

Steven Loeb · March 29, 2012 · Short URL:

Can it really compete with Apple and Amazon?

Google CEO Eric Schmidt told everyone in December that the company would “market a new tablet of the highest quality in the next six months." Well, six months is almost up and it looks like Schmidt is keeping his word.

Google is going to start selling its own brand of tablets in its own online story, the Wall Street Journal reported.

This is not the first time that Google has tried to market a device in its own name. In 2010, it unveiled the Nexus One, a smartphone that it was going to sell directly to consumers. Sales were terrible though, with the Nexus One only selling 135,000 in the same time it took the iPhone to sell one million.

Google itself will not make the new tablets, instead leaving that to its partners Samsung and AsusTek, but they will be co-branded as Google tablets.

Last year saw Google buying up Motorola for $12.5 billion dollars and, although the deal has yet to go through due to a probe by the Chinese government, it is being reported that Motorola tablets will be sold in the store once the deal is done. Motorola was the first Smartphone to use the Android operating system, the Xoom, in February 2011.

Google in entering into a very competitive market, and will now have to do battle with both Apple and Amazon, which released its own tablet, the Kindle Fire, in November of last year. The Kindle Fire runs on an Android operating system.

Of the two, Apple is of course the bigger hurdle. With the released of its newest version of the iPad this month, which sold three million units in just its first weekend, Apple just reasserted itself as the dominant force on the tablet market. With such strong sales, Google might be entering the market at exactly the wrong time.

Still, there is some hope for Google.

Thanks, perhaps, to the holiday release of the Kindle Fire, which is speculated to have sold six million units in the fourth quarter of 2011, Android tablets made a big dent in the market last year, more than tripling the number of tablets sold from 3.1 million to 10.5, and also gaining 10% more of the global marketshare. It is still are lagging behind Apple, who still own nearly 60% of the tablet market despite losing more than 10% last year. Also, last year did not see the release of a new iPad, so Apple might very well rebound nicely this year.  Google still has to be happy that its operating system is penetrating the market, and giving Apple a bit of competition. 

There is no official word on the new tablet will be unveiled, but there is a good chance it will be at the same time as the new Android operating system Jelly Bean this summer.

Google did not return our request for comment 

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