There are Android tablets ... and then there are Android tablets. And if I understand Google's plan, the online giant will soon release its own Android-based tablet, much as it also has its own Android-based smart phone in addition to allowing partners to create their own devices. Such a Google-made tablet would be very interesting. Very interesting, indeed.
News of Google's first tablet comes via an Italian newspaper called Corrier della Sea, which recently interviewed Google chairman Eric Schmidt. And thanks to the wonders of Google's Translate feature in Chrome, we can sort-of discover what Schmidt said, in broken English.
"Within the next six months we plan to market a high quality tablet," Schmidt said, I think. "As with the smart phone market, you will see brutal competition between Apple and Google Android."
OK, so that was literally all he said about a tablet, and actually "literally" is probably not correct since this is a rough translation. But you get the idea.
Today, the Android tablet market is a mess. There are basically two successful Android tablets, the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble Nook tablet, but they both, ironically, are successful despite (or because) they have removed any and all Android-ness from the device software. Traditional Android tablets (read: iPad rip-offs) are a dime a dozen and none have sold well in the market.
In the smart phone arena, Google's own handsets, like the recently released Nexus Prime, are highly regarded and widely thought to provide a more "pure" Android experience. So hopefully Google's Android tablet will do the same thing for that device type. I'm very curious to see one, and to see whether the Android Market is further improved in lock step to provide better device/online services integration, as with Apple's various services, such as the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, and iCloud.