Planned Google tablet to rival Amazon: Asustek exec

TAIPEI Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:37am EDT

Google Inc's logo is seen at an office in Seoul in this May 3, 2011 file photograph. REUTERS/Truth Leem/Files

Google Inc's logo is seen at an office in Seoul in this May 3, 2011 file photograph.

Credit: Reuters/Truth Leem/Files

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TAIPEI (Reuters) - Google Inc will soon unveil a tablet co-branded with Taiwan's Asustek Computer Inc and priced to compete with Amazon's Kindle Fire device, an Asustek executive said on Wednesday.

Amazon's Kindle Fire, which runs a version of Google's Android operating system, sells for $199. Through it users can access Amazon content including books, music and video.

"It's targeting Amazon. The Kindle is based on Google's platform but with its own service, so Google has to launch its own service, too," said the executive of the device.

Google has its own store for apps called Google Play, but does not have anything like Amazon's service.

Bloomberg earlier reported that Google would launch a tablet at its developer conference this week, taking direct aim at Apple Inc's iPad, citing two people familiar with the matter. One of the sources said the 7-inch tablet would showcase new features of Android.

The Asustek executive, who did not want to be named as the planned device has not yet been made public, declined to give details on its price, specifications or launch timetable. Rumors that the search engine giant planned to launch a tablet at its annual developer conference have circulated on tech blogs for weeks.

Google declined to comment.

Apple's iPad had a 68 percent share of the market in January-March, according to data from IDC. Amazon had a little over 4 percent, lagging Samsung Electronics and Lenovo. Microsoft last week introduced its own line of tablet computers, marking a major strategic shift for the software giant as it struggles to compete with Apple and re-invent its aging Windows franchise.

Google has previously worked with hardware manufacturers HTC and Samsung to produce co-branded Android mobile phones under the Nexus brand. This would be its first such tablet device.

Asustek shares gained 2.6 percent in Taipei, outperforming a 0.6 percent gain on the benchmark stock index.

(Reporting by Clare Jim in TAIPEI and Chandni Doulatramani in BANGALORE; Writing by Jeremy Wagstaff; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

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Comments (3)
alexrmurf wrote:
“Google has its own store for apps called Google Play, but does not have anything like Amazon’s service.” – Please correct this…Google Play has apps, games, music, music and books, just like Amazon. Basically everything Amazon has minus a streaming video service (although YouTube could possibly count).

However, like all official Android phones/tabs, the new device will also have access to all of Amazon’s (and everyone else’s) media content in addition to Google’s own.

Jun 27, 2012 8:52am EDT  --  Report as abuse
eBookNoir wrote:
It’s not a true tablet, more of an eReader media device, so amazon could have some concern if google does it right. iPad has no worries because it’ll probably stream some movies, play apps and games, but who wants to try to actually create anything on a 7″ device, it’s horrible. If everyone would stop referring to colored eReaders as tablets, then we could have real discussions on what it all means, but marketing tries to hype things into areas where they don’t belong, this being one of them.

Jun 27, 2012 12:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
scythe wrote:
poke in the eye and warning shot from asustek to m$oft’s tablet

Jun 27, 2012 3:57pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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