Not to be outdone by Microsoft and its new tablet, Google is reportedly ready to unveil a tablet co-branded with Taiwan's Asustek Computer Inc. Unlike Microsoft’s Surface, however (which is expected to cost more than an iPad), Google’s new device will likely be priced to compete with Amazon's Kindle Fire.
"It's targeting Amazon,” an unidentified Asustek executive tells Reuters. “The Kindle is based on Google's platform but with its own service, so Google has to launch its own service, too.”
Amazon's Kindle Fire, which runs a version of Google's Android operating system, sells for $199. Google already has its own app store, Google Play, but does not currently have anything like Amazon's breadth of books, music and premium video offerings.
On Tuesday night, Bloomberg reported that Google planned to launch a tablet at its developer conference, this week, taking direct aim at Apple Inc's iPad, citing two people familiar with the matter.
Android tablets are already available from companies such as Samsung, HTC, and Motorola Mobility, which Google acquired last month for $12.5 billion.
“Still, Google is aiming to capitalize on its own brand name,” suggests Bloomberg. “It also seeks to woo consumers with a slimmer device that features the latest software yet carries a lower price than the larger iPad.”
“A Google tablet would also offer another key benefit,” writes CNet. “The company could roll out updates directly to users without having to go through its Android partners, a step that often delays available updates.”
Regarding the rumored tablet, Informa analyst David McQueen tells BBC News: "Google is probably going to want to distinguish itself from the iPad as much as possible."