Google will release a flagship Android tablet in the next six months to challenge Apple’s iPad, it's chairman Eric Schmidt has revealed.
In an echo of the firm’s smartphone strategy, whereby its own Nexus range forms the vanguard of the Android attack on the iPhone, Mr Schmidt said Google is developing a tablet.
“In the next six months we plan to market a tablet of the highest quality,” he told an Italian newspaper.
Google has already had a hand in the development of the Motorola Xoom, but like other Android tablets, it suffered disappointing sales in a market dominated by the iPad.
Since then, however, Google has itself become a major hardware manufacturer via its $12.5bn acquisition Motorola’s devices division, which is currently under consideration by competition authorities. The deal would give it much more control over Android tablet development.
Amazon’s Kindle Fire, based on Android, has presented the strongest challenge to Apple so far, mostly based on its relatively low price, but it has faced criticism over the usability of its software.
Mr Schmidt paid tribute to Steve Jobs' role in kickstarting the tablet market, describing the iPad as "amazing".
"Steve Jobs was the Michelangelo of our time," he said. "A friend of mine and a unique character, able to combine creativity and visionary genius with an extraordinary engineering ability."
"Steve realised the revolutionary potential of the tablet and created an amazing product like the iPad," he said.
In the smartphone market, Google designs the Nexus range as both a testing ground for new versions of Android and to show off cutting-edge hardware. The most recent device, the Galaxy Nexus, is manufactured by Samsung.
Mr Schmidt said that competition between Android smartphones and the iPhone will be “brutal”
Read more on :