Google appears to be poised to follow in the footsteps of Microsoft Corp. and do something unexpected by unveiling its own tablet device, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The company has called its developers together for a session tomorrow, and the buzz is mounting that it’s a step toward rolling out a Google-branded competitor to Apple’s iPad.
The story reports: “The tablet-introduction rumors underscore the growing importance of the mobile market, with its untapped pool of online-advertising revenue.”
The report adds: “The Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco is expected to focus on its key products, including Android, the popular operating system for mobile devices and the Chrome browser. One analyst said the search giant may also talk about cloud-platform services to businesses, similar to those offered by Amazon.com Inc.”
Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Partners, said the conference’s main attraction will be a tablet. “He quipped that the product could go by such names as ‘Googlet’ or ‘Gpad,’” the story says.
"Whatever it’s called, bring it on and make YouTube be my video-content source," Gillis said. "A Jelly Bean Android tablet, available to buy, that costs me $199 — that’s what we’re looking for."
Jelly Bean is the name of the latest Android software, the story notes.
Microsoft took the wraps off plans to release its own tablet, called the “Surface,” last week, as we reported earlier. The device is based on the Windows 8 operating system.
The report adds: “Google could come out with its own product, perhaps manufactured by Asus, at a price of roughly $200, making it competitive against the higher-priced iPad.”
Unlike the Microsoft tablet, which is still months away, Google is likely to make its tablet available immediately, the story says.