Rumor of Google's tablet device today gain some new inputs, as CNet is reporting that Richard Shim, an analyst with DisplaySearch, claims that Google is going to jump into the tablet fray later this year.
"The production of Google-branded tablet will begin sometime in April. And, that the Google's tablet will have a 1280x800 resolution 7-inch display," according to Shim. The initial production run is between 1.5 million to 2 million units, Shim quoted as saying.
Shim's comments follow Digitimes January 2012 report that said the Google tablet will run Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" and be priced around $199 to compete with Amazon's Kindle Fire. The sources expect the Android tablet to arrive in the spring at a price below $299 to compete with Amazon.
Digitimes report comes a few weeks after Google's Chairman Eric Schmidt quoted in an Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that the company has plans to market its own tablet. According to the translation, Schmidt said, "In the next six months we plan to 'market a tablet of the highest quality'." It's currently unclear if Google will sell and market the tablet itself, as it did with the Nexus line of Android smartphones, or if it will team up with a tablet manufacturer to aggressively market the tablet.
Shim also claims the tablet will be a seven inch model, run Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and have an impressive 1280x800 screen resolution.
Once Google completes the planned acquisition of Motorola, it will instantly gain ownership of three tablets: the original 10.1-inch Xoom, the 10.1-inch Xyboard (aka Xoom 2), and the 8.2-inch Xyboard. Why Google feels it needs to have a 7-inch device too is not clear. Also, it is not clear how Google will market the device.
"I don't know how they plan on marketing it. If it's going to be a premium device, or if it's going to be a Kindle Fire type competitor," Shim said.