Eric Schmidt tells Italian newspaper that 'highest quality' tablet coming in six months.

Google to produce own-brand tablet?

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that the internet giant is planning an entry into the tablet market with a Google-branded iPad rival.

Schmidt was in Italy for the launch of Google’s new Italy headquarters and during an interview with Italian newspaper Italian Corriere della Sera, the Google chief revealed plans for a ‘media tablet of the highest quality’.

What he actually said was that Google plans to market the tablet within the next six months. Since there’s a number of existing Android-based tablets already it seems reasonable to assume that Schmidt meant that Google will produce their own device rather like the Nexus series of smartphones.

Android tablets have so far failed to make the same sort of splash as Android-powered smartphones but a large part of that is down to the flirting with large screen formats and their unique demands on UI which briefly resulted in the Honeycomb fork of Android.

It’s possible Google might now believe, with the consolidating Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, that the time is right to have a shot at the tablet market themselves where the firm can push a range of Google online services.

Hopefully Google’s tablet wont go the way of the firm’s Chromebook initiative…

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