Google is planning to release its own tablet within six months, if comments by CEO Eric Schmidt is to be believed. The so-called “Nexus” tablet, named after the reference smartphones Google hardware partners release for new versions of Android, will be a “tablet of the highest quality,” according to Schmidt. But it may not be focused on stealing market share from the best-selling tablet, the Apple iPad.
Instead, the Google tablet may have the Amazon Kindle Fire in its sights. According to the Taiwan-based DigiTimes (so take it with a grain of salt), sources within Google’s upstream supply chain partners believe the search giant will launch a Google-branded tablet in March or April with a 7-inch display and Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0. The tablet will cost $199, which is the same as the Amazon Kindle Fire.
The Amazon Kindle Fire runs the Android Gingerbread 2.3, a smartphone version of the operating system. However, Amazon heavily tweaked the open OS, so it looks very little like the Android OS found on smartphones and tablets. The Kindle Fire does not ship with Google standard apps, like Gmail and Maps, and also cannot download apps from the Android Market. Instead, Amazon has its own app store, the Amazon Appstore for Android.
This is all just rumor and speculation, including the existence of the Google tablet, and the DigiTimes claims that Google Taiwan has never heard of any plans for an official Google tablet.