Google has been very clear about how big of a part mobile plays in the company’s strategy moving forward, and a number of recent acquisitions and strategic moves have made it equally clear that Google is gunning for Apple. These are a couple reasons why it has come as no surprise to find out that Google is working with Verizon on a Tablet computer that would compete with the iPad.
Verizon’s CEO let the cat out of the bag to the Wall Street Journal, and while the manufacturer was not revealed, there is speculation that it could be HTC, which already makes some popular Android devices sold through Verizon.
Matthew Miller at ZDNet says, "There were rumors of an HTC Android tablet at CES 2010, but we never saw a device actually appear. HTC also made the HTC Shift Windows Vista/Windows Mobile device a couple of years ago so they do have experience creating devices with various form factors."
Though Apple has downplayed the findings, a recent report from the NPD Group found that Android devices outsold the iPhone in the first quarter of 2010. Buy one, get one free deals on devices from Verizon were credited for helping this along.
Regardless of the report’s precision and what is helping Android devices sell, there’s no question that they are in fact selling in greater amounts, and pricing could play a huge role in how well a Google tablet would do in the iPad battle. Another thing that could help it would be an ability to play Flash, which Apple has now famously disowned (this could help Adobe even more).
It’s unclear at this point if the device would indeed run Android or Google’s Chrome OS, but at this point Android seems like the logical decision, given the operating system’s growing popularity and familiarity, not to mention similarities to the the iPhone/iPad.
Google I/O (which WebProNews will be covering) is coming up next week, perhaps we’ll find out more there.
On an interesting side note, it has been discovered that Google is looking to hire a product management leader for games. It will be interesting to see if Verizon offers deals to help it gain momentum over the iPad and its early lead.