According to a Wall Street Journal report, Google is seemingly working out partnerships with tablet hardware manufacturers to produce co-branded tablets which the company will sell directly via a special online store, quite like the approach which Amazon follows to sell its Kindle Fire tablets.
Going by the information shared by ‘inside’ sources familiar with the proceedings at Google, the company will not get into the development of a tablet itself, and its webstore will chiefly sell co-branded tablets which will be manufactured by Motorola, Asus, Samsung, and probably even Nvidia.
As per the sources, the co-branded tablets which Google will sell directly at its webstore will be competitive to the popular Apple iPad and the aggressively priced Amazon Kindle Fire. One of the tablets, which will be sold at the Google webstore later this year, will be manufactured by Asus and will be priced between $149 and $199.
With recent statistics from research firm IDC having revealed that the market share of Android-powered tablets had increased from 32.3 percent to 44.6 percent between the third and fourth quarters of 2011, Google can apparently gain traction on the Android’s tablet market gains with a co-branded tablet that runs either the latest Android 4.0 ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ OS or the forthcoming ‘Jelly Bean’ version.
Moreover, with Google’s earlier ‘Nexus One’ handset fiasco having taught the company a lesson or two in marketing of devices, Google will reportedly devote substantial marketing support to its webstore for co-branded tablets.