Google plans to bring a tablet computer to market similar to the Apple’s iPad with Verizon Wireless, according to reports by both Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal in the US.
The work is part of a deepening relationship between the largest U.S. wireless carrier by subscribers and Google, which has carved out a space in mobile devices with its Android operating system. Verizon Wireless last year heavily promoted the Motorola Droid, which runs Google’s software.
“What do we think the next big wave of opportunities are?” Mr. McAdam said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “We’re working on tablets together, for example. We’re looking at all the things Google has in its archives that we could put on a tablet to make it a great experience.”
The Wall Street Journal says that Verizon Wireless declined to discuss details on the timing or the manufacturer of a such a tablet, but that didn’t stop Marquett Smith, a spokesman for Verizon telling Bloomberg that “the tablet will run on Google’s Android operating system”, presumably rather than Chrome OS, but according to the news wire service “He declined to elaborate and said the carrier will release more details later this week”.
The news doesn’t come as a total shocker because last month Google’s CEO reportedly told friends that his company was building a tablet device.
However, this step does exemplify the increasing competition between Apple and Google –- a competition increasingly taking place in the mobile space where recent reports suggest that Android is gaining significant ground on iPhone. s.
Now, we’ll see this competition play out in the tablet device market, where Apple has an early lead with its iPad selling more than one million units in its first month, and the iPad 3G just hit stores with AT&T as the exclusive wireless carrier.
However, the wireless business is still largely about phones. But devices such as tablet computers, netbooks and e-readers are a fast-growing, if tiny, part of carriers’ operations. Consumers are increasingly interested in wireless devices that can surf the Internet or run software applications, and carriers are trying to tap that interest to offset falling revenue from phone calls.
Mr. McAdam acknowledged that Verizon has some catching up to do in the field. AT&T is the carrier for Amazon.com Inc.’s popular Kindle and the new iPad.
“They were able to get out of the box faster,” Mr. McAdam said. Verizon has been handicapped by its CDMA network technology, less common than AT&T’s GSM, but the executive said his company will have devices ready to show early next year once its new network is in place.
That new network promises much higher speeds for transferring video, for example. Verizon says it will be running in 25 to 30 cities by the end of the year.
“The old model of one price plan per device is going to fall away,” Mr. McAdam said, adding that he expects carriers to take an approach that targets a “bucket of megabytes.”
With multiple devices, customers are likely to end up paying more for connecting their gadgets to the next-generation network than they do today, he said. “It’s not out of the question,” he said. [via The Wall Street Journal and Pocket-Lint]