Up to this point, the issue has been to create a device, and an application ecosystem, to rival the Apple iPad. That still is true, but what is new is that the tablet market now has at least two "lead" devices, including the Apple iPad and the Kindle Fire, each representing a distinct segment within the tablet market.
Granted, some will continue to view the Kindle Fire as a capable "e-book reader," while the Apple iPad is a "real" tablet. Others will continue to argue that niches and segments exist within the tablet category.
But rumored movement by Google to create a "reference" tablet that will compete in the tablet space might take the form of a tablet positioned about the Kindle Fire, not the Apple iPad.
That, at least, is what some component suppliers now believe.
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has said the company plans to launch a high quality tablet device "within the next six months."
The sources believe that Google will launch the own-brand tablet in March to April of 2012, featuring a seven-inch panel and Android 4.0 with a price less than $199 to compete against Amazon's Kindle Fire. Google tablet PC believed to be targeting Kindle Fire