Instead of a single, Google-branded tablet, the Wall Street Journal reported today that Google plans to create an online store that will sell a variety of tablets, some of them co-branded by Google.
Rival Amazon has sold millions of its $199 Kindle Fire at its online store and of course Apple has offered the iPad for sale at its site since the first one debuted in 2010 as well as through retail outlets.
A recent series of rumors had Google working with Asus on a custom Google tablet.
But according to the WSJ, citing “people familiar with the matter,” Google will sell devices online from a variety of manufacturers including those from partners such as Samsung Electronics and Asus. Another potential partner is Motorola Mobility, which Google announced plans to buy last year; the deal is currently still awaiting regulatory approval by government officials in China.
Google has sold mobile devices online before, specifically in 2010 following the release of its short-lived Nexus One smartphone made by HTC.
The WSJ said further details about how the store will work, what will be offered and when it will be launch are unclear.