Report: Google May Have Ambitious Android Tablet Plans
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal citing "people familiar with the matter," Google intends to go head-to-head with Apple's iPad by selling co-branded Android tablets. Google, of course, has its hands tied with regard to its lofty goals to become a big player on the hardware scene, as it waits for its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility to be approved. Is Google biting off more than it can chew with its smartphone and tablet plans?
As The Wall Street Journal notes:
"Google Inc., undaunted by a short-lived attempt to market and sell smartphones on its own, is now trying the approach with tablet computers in a quest to capture market share from Apple Inc.'s iPad. The Internet search company will sell co-branded tablets directly to consumers through an online store like rivals Apple and Amazon.com Inc., according to people familiar with the matter."
Google, of course, has experimented with being a smartphone player with its Nexus One phone, and ran into all kinds of issues in that effort, including confronting how difficult it is to support hardware. Plain and simple, Google is not a hardware company. There are other software-focused companies that are players in the hardware business. For example, Microsoft has delivered and supported mice and many other types of hardware over the years, but Google has far less experience in the game.
Granted, the latest report is that Google will sell "co-branded" tablet devices, which could mean that Google will look to offload manufacturing and support to other companies, but the fact remains that we are going to see Google becoming a hardware company.
The other issue Google will have to confront if it is going to dive into the tablet game is that Android tablets simply haven't been successful. There isn't the same app ecosystem for them as there is for the iPad.
Still, despite all these issues, Android itself is a barnstorming open source success, and is also a very young platform. To some extent, Google officials have to realize that such a young platform could be an entirely different and more powerful animal in later iterations. With that in mind, it appears that Google intends to seed Android everywhere.