Google plans to sell tablet computers via online store

30 Mar 2012

The Motorola Xoom 2 tablet computer

Google will this year sell co-branded tablet computers directly to consumers via its own online store in a bid to replicate the success of its Android operating system in the smartphone space.

Anyone who has used an Android-based tablet computer lately – such as the Motorola Xoom 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab – would know Android translates very well to the tablet genre.

However, it is a space dominated by Apple, which has around 90pc of the global market. Apple’s new iPad sold 3m devices in its first three days and this week it is estimated that between 58m and 60m of the new iPad have been sold so far.

Allied with this is the sheer scale of technological innovation Apple is able to put into its tablet devices because it owns the hardware and the software ecosystem.

Despite the effective translation by some manufacturers of Android to tablet machines, none have been more successful so far than Amazon with its Kindle Fire.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, it seems Google wants to take charge of the situation and will begin selling co-branded Android tablet computers with the Google brand sitting prominently alongside those of various manufacturers, such as Samsung and Motorola.

The first Google co-branded devices that are likely to emerge and be sold online this year will be a machine by Asus.

Like I said, Android’s effective translation to tablet computers is being desperately overshadowed by the unstoppable success of Apple’s iPad. It’s time Google tried at least to even the score.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years