With Research in Motion preparing a tablet to compete against the iPad, it shouldn't be any surprise that Motorola is working on one, too. But while RIM's BlackPad seems geared for enterprise customers, Motorola seems to have its sight set on consumers -- especially those who are Verizon FiOS subscribers.
According to the Financial Times, Motorola is developing a tablet running the Android OS for Verizon that could appear as early as this fall. Not surprisingly, it will fill in gaps that the iPad has in its feature set, including Flash support and front- and rear-facing cameras. It will also have a slightly larger screen at 10 inches (compared to 9.7 inches), will be thinner and lighter, and, better still, will serve as a mobile hot spot.
Its potential killer app, though, would be the ability for FiOS customers to watch TV through the device. It's unclear if it would support live TV playback, but at least it should let subscribers access their DVRs (the paper pointing out that Motorola also builds the set-top boxes that Verizon uses for FiOS). Theoretically, the tablet could be bundled with FiOS service at a steep discount, much as netbooks are offered with heavy subsidies for Verizon mobile plans.
Would the Motorola-Verizon tablet alliance spur other pay TV companies to partner with tablet makers, or push them to hasten their iPad plans? Already, Comcast is preparing an iPad app that will let you access your Xfinity set-top box, but maybe the release date will come sooner than later if this latest tablet rumor comes to fruition.