Report: Google branded 7-inch tablet in the pipeline

Report: Google branded 7-inch tablet in the pipeline

Summary: Will Motorola manufacture it?

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Google is getting ready to enter the Android tablet market with a 7-inch offering, according DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim.

Speaking to CNET, Shim said that the search giant is working on a Google branded tablet that will have a 1280x800 resolution 7-inch display and be powered by Android 4.0 'Ice Cream Sandwich.' Shim says the tablet will be priced at around $199 in order for it to be able to compete against the Amazon Kindle Fire. He expects production to start in April and for the initial production run to be between 1.5 - 2 million units.

Shim doesn't know about how Google plans to market the device. "I don't know how they plan on marketing it. If it's going to be a premium device, or if it's going to be a Kindle Fire type competitor," he said.

My immediate question is who will manufacture this tablet? Given Google's ongoing acquisition of Motorola (which has three tablets of its own already - 10.1-inch Xoom, a 10.1-inch Xyboard, and an 8.2-inch Xyboard), that seems logical. But what does a Google-branded Motorola tablet have to offer over a Motorola-branded Motorola tablet? Google might have the flagship Android smartphone with the Nexus, but when it comes to market share, Google is a small player when it comes to hardware.

Shim doesn't speculate as to why Google feels that a 7-inch tablet will be better than what Motorola has to offer. Perhaps it's driven by the rumors that Apple is working on a 'mini' iPad 3, or maybe it's purely a response to Amazon's success with a smaller, cheaper Kindle Fire. It's clear that Apple has the large form-factor tablet market stitched up, and given Motorola's mediocre success with tablets that compete against the iPad, maybe Google feels that there's a space at the smaller form-factor end of market.

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Topics: Laptops, Google, Hardware, Mobility, Tablets

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24 comments
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  • The big question will be

    what can it offer me, or anyone else, that makes it actually worth making it? Tablets are, by and large, getting the update. They won't have the advantage there.
    Michael Alan Goff
  • Too Late for Google's Traditional Marketing Scheme

    If Google are to be releasing a tablet, it's what they should've done with the release of 3.0. It was the only version not to have a Google Nexus device and you can't really market a Nexus tablet now with ICS unless it features something new that no other tablet has. In my opinion, this tablet should be a Nexus device running the next 4.x
    jonathanlahdo
  • It's a shame Steve didn't live to see this

    I'm sure he'd have enjoyed critiquing a 7" Nexus Tablet.
    matthew_maurice
  • If true a grim turn of events for other Android OEM's.

    Who already find themselves in a cut throat, low margin or no margin business (In the case of selling below cost to make up on the other end with content sales). In a case like this if true again it just might be a good idea to go with Windows phones and tablets. At least MS hasn't announced it is going to make tablets itself at least yet and while Nokia did get aid from MS they MS do not own Nokia like Google does or will with Moto.

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
  • How will it differ

    From the dozens of other crappy Android tablets out there that have failed to take off?
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • I'm more interested in...

      how their partners will react to this. It seems like a shady move by a shady company.
      kstap
  • GoogleFire

    Since it's generally assumed Amazon is selling the Fire at cost if not at a loss, is Google going to follow the same business model? At least Amazon had the track record of eInk readers for branding halo. Google has Chromebooks. I don't see the halo. And how long are the myriad OEMs using Android going to tolerate playing second fiddle? I see a huge opportunity for MSs Win8. Don't you just love watching the bottom feeders eating each other?
    dheady@...
    • Chromebooks are NOT Google branded hardware

      The only Google branded hardware is the Nexus .... and the brand is considered a failure by any standard.
      wackoae
  • This is all about Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet

    Watch for Amazon to put out a 10-inch form factor tablet later this year, priced significantly below the iPad (eTextbooks anyone?). Then Google can match this 10-inch tablet as well. Amazon can subsidize tablets via it's content sales revenue. Google can subsidize tablets via it's advertising revenue. From here on out, Amazon and Google will fight each other with enhanced tablet features and lower prices while everyone except Apple quietly disappears.

    Reminds me a bit of calculators in the 1970's.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • Google tablets

      Since the iPad 2 will probably be selling at a significant discount soon, Google will be late again. Just look at the price difference between the iPhone 4 and the 4S.
      jorjitop
  • Google Branded 7" Tablet

    A tweener? The chances of a tweener succeeding are less than 10%.
    Unless, they give it away for free. If it's anything like their software, that would be the right price. I'd take one for free.

    If a tweener really does come out, Apple's VPs will be laughing so hard, I think Googler's will hear it 10 miles away.
    pjtmgt@...
  • But why?

    Were I a shareholder in Google, I would get out now. This whole business with Motorola makes less sense every day. The decision making behind all of it is bizarre. When a company starts making senseless decisions, it's time to run the other way.

    What does Google get by buying Motorola Mobility? Some patents, a brand name, some people. If the first thing they do is can the CEO (they did) and the second thing they do is announce they won't be using the brand name, then why did they even buy it? The patents? For twelve billion dollars?

    If Google wanted to get into the low-end hardware business with a Google-branded device, I'm sure Foxconn would have been happy to design and build it for them. They didn't need Motorola.

    This is good enough news for Windows 8 that it could get Ballmer back out on the dance floor. He's probably getting calls from Samsung already.
    Robert Hahn
    • Google purchased Motorola as a DESPERATE move

      Motorola threatened to suing other Android OEMs, Google management panicked and they made a ridiculous offer for a division that wasn't even worth 10% of what they paid for.

      As many has pointed out, MotoMob only had about 18 patents that could be considered useful in today's post-pc market and they weren't that valuable.
      wackoae
  • i'd love a 7" tablet!

    and who says nexus is a failure... excuse me as you don't seem to know what you're talking about. i have no use for a 10" tablet. i need 7" that's why i've been waiting and i want it pure google. but only if it surpasses a samsung g.tab.... i'm not really very confident with motorola.

    and they're right it shouldn't be an ICS.. it should have the new OS version! i won't be excited with just an ICS.
    jimmery
  • Yeah they should!

    They said they were going to bring a $99 tablet to market so why not? Reality is, this is to combat the Kindle Fire and any other tablets it beats will be collateral damage.
    slickjim
  • I like the 7" - 8" form factor in the tablet market.

    The main point in owning a 7" tablet is portability as the size makes it easy to take with me wherever I go as opposed to larger tablets. However I do not like the currently growing trend of eliminating the microSD slot in mobile devices. The main reason I won't buy a Galaxy Nexus is that it doesn't have one and I won't buy a Tablet without one either. I do not need to waste my data allotment downloading things from the cloud when I already have it on a microSD card. For me, a mobile device does not live in an ever present wifi connection.

    Essentially, if Google wants to try to sell me a tablet, they need to let me use it the way I want to and not delete features that enable me to do that. If they can't do that, then don't even bother trying.
    marbo100
  • Report: Google branded 7-inch tablet in the pipeline

    I'm sure this will sell as well as the chromebooks did, meaning not well at all.
    Loverock Davidson-
  • Interesting thought here.. We've all seen the rash of Google

    related "spyware" reports. Seems Google actually writes spyware but gets away with it by calling it Applications. So what would a device hardware made by Google or it's minion Moto. OS made by Google and Applications made by Google do for me? Or better put what would this device do for Google and the organizations that pay for MY information weather I want they to have said or not?

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
  • Sounds desperate.

    I just don't see any good reasoning for them to release a tablet, especially if it will be little difference from what we have out now that's based on Honeycomb/ISC. If they are working with Moto on this tablet then I could see it being seen as special favoritism by the other Android tablet makers. More reason for them to continue skining, and maybe like Amazon completely fork their Android offerings.
    dave95.
    • umm

      Kindle fire?
      slickjim