Google have made further hints that they are planning to enter the tablet computer market as their own brand (with a ‘Google’ product name as opposed to ‘Android’), as company CEO Larry Page suggests that it will be designed with competition against the low-priced Amazon Kindle Fire in mind.
Talking to financial analysts, he suggested that the company, best known for their work as an online service and search engine provider, will be aiming for ‘the lower end’ of the tablet computer market instead of taking on the iPad, with plans to release the cut-price product before the end of the year.
Such a device would most likely keep in line with the ‘Kindle Fire’ model of a cheap product (early rumours suggesting a price between $199-$249) combined with direct links to own-branded content (as Amazon offered through access to their flagship online store and online streaming service Amazon Prime, amongst others), as a means of boosting income through the device’s content, as opposed to the sale of the device itself.
The tablet is reportedly being made under the ‘Google Nexus’ brand, with device production coming from Asus.
Page said of a Google tablet’s prospects: “There’s been a lot of success on some lower-priced tablets that were on Android, perhaps not the full Google Android. We believe there’s going to be a lot of success at the lower end of the market, and it’s an area we think is important and we’re going to focus on.”
Market analyst Gartner, meanwhile, has issued their market predictions for tablet computers, claiming that sales will come close to 120 million in 2012, and that of these devices, little over 93% of them will have been sold by Apple or Android-based devices, with Apple claiming a clear 61-32 percentage advantage from those sales. However, while the future can be tough to predict, Gartner’s research claims that by 2016, Apple’s dominance will not be as strong, with their estimated share of 45.9% falling in comparison to the slowly-progressing 37.2% figure from Android, leaving a slightly greater 16.9% margin for other tablet producers (as opposed to the ‘current’ 7%).
Regardless of predictions, the future seems to look bright for Google’s product operations, though, with a pair of augmented reality glasses and a self-driving car already in the works, could a tablet computer serve as a further step away from Google’s traditional comfort zone?