Schmidt Hints Of Google’s Own Android Tablet

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Google chairman lets slip there is a “high quality” tablet in the works. But who will make it?

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has suggested that the company is working on its own tablet.

Android tablets have struggled against Apple’s market-leading iPad, meaning that Google could be ready to create a flagship device as a counterpart to its Nexus range of smartphones.

The Rumour Mill

“In the next six months we plan to market a tablet of the highest quality,” Schmidt told an Italian newspaper.

Google has released three Nexus smartphones in the form of the HTC-built Nexus One and the Samsung-manufactured Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus, which launched last month. These flagship devices are designed to be showcases for the latest Android software.

Google was strongly rumoured to be preparing its own tablet last year, but it has still not released its own device, despite having a role in the production of the Motorola Xoom, which struggled to capture the imagination of consumers.

However Google has since acquired Motorola Mobility in a £7.7bn takeover following the decision to split Motorola’s handset operation from its business division. The move not only strengthens the Android platform, but also gives Google access to patents which will assist the company in its ongoing legal struggles with Apple.

The tablet that has provided the strongest competition to Apple is the recently released Amazon Kindle Fire, which uses a modified version of Android. The competitively priced tablet has been a success in America due to its low price point, but there has so far been no confirmed UK release date and a number of complaints about the device’s usability have prompted Amazon to announce a future update.