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Google Tablet Coming in November?


Today’s big rumor, coming from an un-named single source by way of the Download Squad blog, is that a Google tablet, made by HTC, running Google’s Chrome OS, and available on the Verizon network, will go on sale on November 26th this year. That’s Black Friday.

Or, maybe not: Citing similarly un-named sources among “upstream component makers,” Digitimes asserts that it’s Motorola, not HTC, that is Google’s first choice for a tablet, which Digitimes says will be based on Android.

The Motorola-made Google tablet will utilize Nvidia’s Tegra 2 processor platform, and will have a 10.1-inch Sharp-manufactured LCD that’s not as bright as the iPad, but is thinner, says Digitimes. It will be in production by the end of 2010, the paper added.

Download Squad goes on to speculate about the Chrome tablet’s hardware, writing that “the device could be based on NVidia’s Tegra 2 platform and sport a 1280×720 multitouch display, 2GB of RAM, minimum 32GB SSD, WiFi/Bluetooth/LTE connectivity, GPS, webcam, and possibly expandable storage via a multi-card reader,” but that is the author’s guesswork. What of the actual “facts” of the story, though?

HTC would make sense. After all, the hardware-maker is behind many Android phones, and worked with Google on the original G1 Googlephone. That part lines up.

Motorola would make sense, too, given the company’s big commitment to Android in the past year.

As for Verizon, that too is a pretty credible pairing given the net-neutrality furor of the past couple weeks, which has seen Verizon and Google clubbing together to dismiss the need for an un-tiered internet for mobile devices. That, and the fact that Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said back in May that Verizon and Google are “working on tablets together.”

And the launch date? Either genius or incredibly dumb. If Google were to make the announcement ahead of time, it would certainly get a lot of headlines due to the sheer ballsiness of launching a product into the morass of hype that is the busiest shopping day of the year. But once those headlines have come and gone, the product actually could get drowned in that morass and just disappear. Consumer electronics meant for strong holiday sales typically debut earlier in the year, giving distributors and retailers time to stock up before the holiday rush begins.

Adding some credibility to the timing is TechCrunch’s report on Wednesday that Google is planing to launch the Chrome app store in October. That store, which would give web developers a marketplace for selling web-based applications, might play into the app strategy for an Android-based tablet as well as a Chrome-based one: In addition to native Android apps from the Android Market, tablet users in November would be able to purchase web apps from the just-launched Chrome store. The fact that Google is reportedly planning to charge just 5% commission on Chrome apps, versus the 30% that Apple charges, suggests Google is gearing up to go after the iPad and iPhone in an aggressive way. (Note: (and that Google also charges a 30% transaction fee in its Android Market.)

I really don’t know which way to call this. The pieces all fit so well together, but the sources are odd and unconvincing. Is it possible that Google will launch two tablets this year, one based on Chrome and the other on Android?

Either way, the prospect of an HTC/Verizon/Google tablet or a Motorola/Verizon/Google tablet appeals to us.

Originally published by Reuters. Read the original story here