Google to Manufacture Own PC Tablet; Release 2012

Dennis Faas's picture

In a recent interview with a European newspaper, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt let slip that his company is planning to manufacture its very own tablet PC, with a release date pegged about six months from now.

Although Google's Android mobile operating system (OS) is currently running on a number of tablets manufactured by other hardware companies (including Motorola and Lenovo), until now Google has not positioned itself as the manufacturer.

The report comes after Schmidt's interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. During the exchange, the prominent chairman revealed that his company was currently planning to build tablet devices "of the highest quality" for mid-2012. (Source:

Unclear Where Google Device Will Fit in Tablet Market

News of a Google-produced tablet isn't particularly shocking; in fact, experts have been expecting an announcement of this kind for some time. The surprising part of the story is that Google has clearly been planning this tablet -- which will likely ship under the firm's 'Nexus' brand -- long enough to have established a relatively narrow "first shipment" window for the device.

Google's new tablet will, of course, face stiff competition from Amazon's recently released $199 Kindle Fire and the $249 Barnes & Noble Nook tablet. There's also the uber-popular iPad, which experts believe Apple will significantly update in mid-2012, which is roughly the same release window for Google's new offering.

The big question, therefore, is where in the market Google will place its tablet.

Will Google's new tablet  compete with the no-frills but very inexpensive Kindle Fire and Nook, or against the more expensive and feature-laden Apple iPad, priced at $499 (and up)? Many think the best price point for a Google slate would be somewhere in between, perhaps in the $299 to $399 range.

Schmidt Stays Mum On Most Tablet Details

Unfortunately, Schmidt didn't reveal much of anything else about his company's forthcoming tablet, and spent most of his Corriere della Sera interview discussing capitalism, his firm's ongoing rivalry with Apple, and Steve Jobs' impact on the tech market.

"Steve Jobs was the Michelangelo of our time," Schmidt said, adding that the Apple chairman and former CEO "realized the revolutionary potential of the tablet and has created an amazing product like the iPad." (Source:

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